Last summer, June 17 to be exact, one of the volunteers on Margot McMillen’s organic farm in Auxvasse, Missouri noticed something funny about the grapes. Little did the couple know they would lose their entire grape crop that year. That year they joined a growing group of farmers across the nation losing crops to herbicidal drift from nearby (or not so nearby) conventional farms growing genetically engineered, herbicide-resistant crops.
Farmers around the nation have reported losing crops due to herbicidal drift — just like Margot McMillen’s grapes in Auxvasse, Missouri. Her farm, Terra Bella, does sit among conventional farms growing genetically engineered crops where chemical herbicides are used. When McMillen spoke to her neighbor about what she thought was happening to her grapes, he told her that he was indeed using 2,4-D and dicamba to manage his weeds.
David Trinklein, an associate professor in the division of plant sciences at the University of Missouri — Columbia, was one of the university professors who consulted McMillen about her damaged vegetables. Trinklein says that tomatoes and grapes are extremely sensitive to even small amounts of 2,4-D, which is why something seemingly small like drift from a neighboring field can wreak so much havoc.
Trinklein admits that, at least anecdotally, he’s seeing more and more herbicide damage. He doesn’t know if that’s because people are more likely to report it now or more people are gardening or we’re just using more herbicides. He told McMillen that his department has had several reports of 2,4-D damage to grapes. He’s very concerned that the 2,4-D resistant crops will increase the problems.
Read the full, original article: Market share chemical warfare