Re: Cotton farmers and iris gardeners
From: "Mike Sutton" <email@example.com>
Out here in heavily, heavily regulated CA. we come under heavy, heavy
scrutiny. All our applicators look like space men! This is of course for
every known herbicide/pesticide application. It is somewhat humorous to see
the guys on the spray rig wearing white plastic suits, black rubber boots,
black rubber gloves, helmet and respirator applying roundup. (overkill!)
Anyone who applies chemicals has to go through much training before being
allowed to apply. If the farmer allows anyone to apply without the
protective equipment or training, he/she is subject to large fines and a
lengthy investigation into all aspects of their operation, somewhat like an
IRS audit. It looks like your state is on the other end of the spectrum.
It seems to me that a happy medium is in order (you can never find a good
happy medium, they are always busy). The funny thing about the whole
process is that, I as a grower/owner along with my parents or anyone in my
or their immediate family can apply anything with no protective covering.
In other words we can poison ourselves and die and not have to worry about a
fine or investigation!? I guess if you are dead it wouldn't matter anyway.
:-) Oh well you work with what you have.
There is a large cotton farm across the street and I have been watching
him this year. He sprays one pre-emergent and applies fertilizer twice.
Last year he defoliated with a sea-salt solution. The pre-emergent is done
on the ground, the fertilizer and defoliation were done by helicopter. The
rest of the season he cultivated in the rows for weeds. I have copied his
methods minus the defoliation! Cultivation with one pre-emergent seems to
be the answer unless there is a lot of rain. That's what works for us
anyway. I thought I might add my observations to the brew.
From: Dana Brown <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: email@example.com <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wednesday, September 02, 1998 7:46 PM
Subject: [iris-talk] Re: Cotton farmers and iris gardeners
>From: Dana Brown <email@example.com>
>> Commercial operations are under the scrutiny of regulators and by law use
>> most herbicides and pesticides at significantly lower concentrations than
>> those recommended on the labels of the same products sold to the home
>> gardener. The herbicides and pesticides are usually applied by trained
>> personnel who take every safety precaution (respirators, etc.).
> While this may be true where you are, down here where cotton is king
>most chemicals are applied in one of two ways. #1 By crop dusters, who
>are about as far from careful as you can get. Many are the trees,
>flowers and critters damaged by their overspraying. It is not at all
>unusual to have to wash your windshield to get the spray off after some
>crop duster has buzzed over your head while you were driving on a major
>highway! This includes their use of defoliants!! Just a few years ago a
>friends goat herd was "accidently" sprayed by one of these
>professionals. Not only did he spray most of the goat herd but they
>also sprayed to pregnant mares (who lost their foals as a direct result)
>but he also sprayed my friend as she stood out there screaming at him on
>his THIRD pass over her property. Her lungs have not recovered and per
>her doctor they never will. #2 Is those cute little machines that are
>driven/pulled down through the rows with people sitting out on the wings
>and spraying. I know from personal experience that the people handling
>the spray wands are usually teenagers wearing no masks, gloves or any
>other type of protection and who have had about as much training in the
>proper use of herbicides as my dog has. He knows not to dig up and iris
>and they know not to spray a cotton plant. According to the boys who
>help me weed that was the extent of their training.
>Dana Brown, Lubbock, Texas Zone 7 Usda, Zone 10 Sunset
>Average: rainfall of 17.76", wind speed of 12.5 mph, 164 days
>of clear weather, 96 of which dip below freezing.
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