Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A new threat to woody crops.

In the news today in the New York Times; 2-4-D resistant corn has moved closer to regulatory approval- as a fruit and vegetable growers group has withdrawn their opposition.

Yes, 2-4-D will hurt your hazels, or chestnuts, or almost any other tree crop.  A modest amount will kill them- but more insidiously, tiny amounts will "hurt" your trees, resulting in lower crop production, or decreased crop quality.  Besides the effect on those aiming for organic-certified status.

Dow has "promised" to change the formulation of the 2-4-D, so it's not so volatile; and change the label on the corn, so farmers are "required" to use only the "new" formula- and apparently the Save Our Crops Coalition has decided that's good enough.

It isn't good enough- not if it's YOUR field that gets wiped out, when a local farmer decides he can't afford the new and improved formula; and just uses the old stuff sitting in the barn that his father bought in 1975.  Will that happen?  Yes it will.  The other catastrophe waiting- the "new formula"

If Dow is serious about responsible chemical use- they should be required to set up a fund to pay damages for any instances of abuse; regardless of "whose fault" it was.  Its the tree crop growers who will be ruined.  Loss of livelihood and investment is a real possibility; all that's required is some one farmer who is momentarily careless.

This is a brand new development; not sure what will happen next; my guess would be that a substantial faction of Save Our Crops will split off- and declare loudly they are NOT satisfied with label changes and untested new pesticide formulas.  You may want to keep informed.

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