Organic Agriculture and Pesticide Drift. Michael L. White and Kathleen Delate. Modified by Georgia Agriculture Education Curriculum Office June 2002. What is organic agriculture?.
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Organic Agriculture and Pesticide Drift Michael L. White and Kathleen Delate Modified by Georgia Agriculture Education Curriculum Office June 2002
What is organic agriculture? “Organic agriculture uses naturally occurring amendments for fertilization and pest control. Fields must be free from synthetic fertilizers and pesticides for a minimum of 3 years. Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s) are not allowed. Animals grown organically feed on organic grains and pasture. Synthetic hormones or antibiotics are restricted. The foods are processed, packaged and distributed without the use of synthetic pesticides, artificial preservatives or irradiation.”
Most food and fiber prior to 1940 was organic Organic crop production is now a $4.2 billion industry in the U.S. 1989-1996 saw a 20% annual growth rate in the U.S. Certified organic acres in Iowa 1996 - 21,733 1997 - 62,000 1998 - 100,000 + Organic history
Organic agriculture laws • U.S. Organic Food Production Act of 1990 • Rules out by 2000? • Iowa Food Production Act of 1988 - Code of Iowa Chapter 190C • Law rewritten in 1998 to establish state certification requirements
Crops must be certified organic by 1 of 6 organic agencies in Iowa Cropping records for a minimum of 3 yrs, preferably 5 yrs. Field or farm organic for past 3 years Organic farm plan Use a crop rotation 3 out of 4 years Audit trail of production, input, harvest, storage, sales and transportation Certification
Pesticide drift • Against the law • Accidental pesticide drift can result in loss of a high value crop for 3 years • Pesticide residue analysis is expensive
Droplet size vs. drift distance *Dv0.5, m Source: Herbicide Spray Drift, NDSU Extension
IDALS drift case examples • Command® drift on organic garden in 1997 resulted in $755 civil penalty and unknown damage claim to organic producer. • Custom applicator accidentally sprayed outside 2 rounds of a 49 acre organic oats field in spring of 1998. Case has not been resolved.
25 to 30 foot buffer strip required but wider is recommended Post “CERTIFIED ORGANIC” signs Know your neighbors Read the label Know wind direction and speed Use nozzles producing larger droplets Avoid volatile herbicides 2,4-D clopyralid (Stinger®) dicamba (Banvel®, Clarity®) Drift precautions
Drift retardants Cultivation instead of postemerge spraying Pesticide-free crop rows adjacent to organic buffer areas Pesticide-free forage crops next to organic crops Enroll buffer areas into CRP, wetland reserve or forestry reserve Other ideas? Other options
Report drift complaints to: Chuck Eckermann Chief, Pesticide Bureau Iowa Dept. of Ag & Land Stewardship Henry A. Wallace Building Des Moines, IA 50319 (515) 281-8591
Maury C. Wills IDALS - Organic Food Production and Certification (515) 281-5783 maury.wills@ idals.state.ia.us Kathleen Delate Iowa State University Organic Crops Specialist (515) 294-7069 x1delate@ exnet.iastate.edu Organic information