NDSU Extension - Ramsey County


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March 15, 2010 Ag Column


The sun going to shine this week???  They say maybe a high of 50 by Wednesday!!!  Watch the water run then.  I was in Grand Forks, on Saturday, and what a difference 4-5 hours can make on a river system.  Every  year we have flood related conference calls and even though the main feature is correct (flood) there are so many differences to the that is being or considered flooded.  The mighty Red River floods every spring and creates a monetary mess but the water leaves.  The mighty Devils Lake floods new ground every year that does not leave.  I was going to use the word “never” but never is one mighty long time and 10 years of drought could change this area in one hurry.  For those of you that attended Lake Region Extension Roundup and heard Leon Osborne speak, he mentioned a very severe drought affecting our area and the upper Midwest.  The time frame was 2070, I am pretty sure many of us will be long gone before then.

Drift Reduction Technology

It seems every our country comes up with legislation that is driven by some special interest group.  This happened in the pesticide business, about three years ago, and no one knew about this until this past year with new language being implemented in the pesticide label.  Labels are now having language that talks about leaving a barrier or buffer zone.  New language is also in place for requirement of a permit before any application of a pesticide.  Let’s talk about the buffer zone; a buffer zone could be described by many different scenarios' to include only downwind or could include the whole field that is being treated.  There is also going to be language that will visit about different technology to reduce potential drift problems.  The other language, I mentioned earlier, is the requirement of a permit.  The law will mandate the need to apply for a permit for any application made to include: pesticide and field location.

What really frustrates me is the fact that our producers do a very good job of applying their pesticides.  I know there are times that drift occurs but generally that does not happen.  Weather patterns create more drift problems than anyone complaint.  Don’t get me wrong there are times that the need to complete the operation is crucial to some thinking but in general our applicators do a very good job.  When I was applying pesticides in Fargo we had a very big challenge as most of the immediate area Fargo applications came within city limits.  There were days I would be spraying a field right next to Menards in West Fargo.  It is hard to imagine fields of spring wheat and sugar beets in the city of West Fargo but that is how fast and big the city has grown.  The whole area south of 13th was grain fields.


March 20         Gardening Saturday, Armory room, 1 pm

March 29         Private Pesticide Training, courthouse meeting
                        room, 6 pm. 



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