Monday, September 13, 2010

Local Potato Field

I watch the potatoes growing on a farm that is right next to a main road in our town. The farm has a history in the valley and was home of one of the valley's first farm markets. Through family problems, divorce and etc the farmer went bankrupt and the farm was sold to a charity that maintains the land for waterfowl and leases out the farmland to local farmers to use.

Today I drove by and I could SWEAR it had been sprayed with a herbicide. The potato vines were totally dead dead dead and brown. Weeds around the field were dead too.

Google is a great thing.

Potato Vine Herbicides


Herbicide Application and Remarks

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Potato Vine Kill


endothall
Des-I-Cate Rate: 0.75 to 1 lb ai/A (1.5 to 2 gal/A)
Time: Apply 10 to 14 days before harvest.

Remarks: Use higher rate during cool or cloudy weather or when vine growth is heavy. For ground applications, the addition of 3 to 5 gal/A of diesel fuel or 1 pint paraffin- base herbicidal oil for each 20 gal total spray may increase speed and overall vine kill. No wetting agent or emulsifier is required; endothall will emulsify diesel fuel or herbicide oil. Add diesel oil last to avoid possibility of forming an invert emulsion.

Caution: A restricted-use herbicide in Oregon. Do not use high rate, diesel fuel, or other oils if soil moisture is low or temperatures are high, or stem ends may discolor.


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diquat
Diqual Rate: 0.25 lb ai/A (1 pint/A) or up to 0.5 lb ai/A (2 pints/A) in a single application.
Sequential applications may be made, but do not exceed a total of 0.75 lb ai/A (3 pints/A) per season before harvest. Idaho, Oregon, and Washington special local needs labels (ID-960014, OR-960034, WA-960028).

Time: Make last application at least 7 days before harvest.

Remarks: Do not apply more than 0.5 lb ai/A (2 pints/A) in a single application. Apply with a nonionic surfactant at 8 to 16 oz/100 gal spray mix. Allow at least 5 days between applications. Do not apply through any type of irrigation system.

Caution: A moderately toxic herbicide that requires protective gear for handling and
application.
Follow all use restrictions and precautions given on label. Do not apply to drought-stressed potatoes. Make last application at least 7 days before harvest. Do not feed forage from treated potatoes to livestock. AND HUMANS CAN EAT THESE POTATOES????


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paraquat
Gramoxone Extra Rate: 0.25 to 0.47 lb ai/A (0.8 to 1.5 pints/A) + nonionic surfactant at 16 to 32 fl oz per 100 gal spray mix

Time: Make last application at least 3 days before harvest.

Remarks: Apply in 50 gal/A water with thorough coverage.

Caution: A restricted-use herbicide. Follow all restrictions and precautions on label. Do not apply more than twice with a minimum of 5 days between applications. Do not apply to potatoes within 3 days before harvest. Do not use paraquat if potatoes are to be stored or used for seed.ARE YOU KIDDING ME.....AREN'T ALL POTATOES FOR EATING, STORING OR SEED???? Do not pasture livestock in treated fields. WHAT ABOUT THE WATERFOWL THAT WILL SPEND THEIR WINTER THERE???--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

sulfuric acid (93%) Rate: 17 to 28 gal/A

Time: At least 5 days before harvest.

Remarks: This material is not as dependent on temperature or other environmental conditions as most other desiccants.

Caution: A restricted-use herbicide. Sulfuric acid is very caustic. Protective clothing including dust/mist filtering respirator, chemical-resistant headgear, protective eyewear, chemical-resistant boots, and waterproof gloves must be worn. SPRAYED RIGHT BESIDE A MAIN ROAD AND RIGHT BESIDE THE PLANNED FUTURE FARMER'S MARKET!


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monocarbamide
dihydrogensulfate
Enquik Rate: 20 gal/A diluted 1:1 with water for 40 gal/A
Time: No specified time; allow adequate time for skin set.
Remarks: Must be applied diluted. Surfactant must be added. This material is much safer to user (less caustic to skin), but is as corrosive to cotton, nylon, and some other materials as sulfuric acid. Consult label for full directions.

Caution: Do not mix sulfuric acid and urea to make this solution. Use the premixed solution.

CAPITALS are my words and bolded only were on the website.

I am horrified. I understand potatoes are sprayed after harvest as well to stop "sprouting". I will be buying organically locally grown potatoes from now on. And making more of an effort to increase my harvest. I have no idea how many I will have but my fingers are crossed......

And since most of the lables say don't let livestock in what does this mean for the waterfowl (swans, canada geese and ducks) that spend their winters on these fields???

I will take and add photos to this post tomorrow.


Canadian geese foraging in the field next door. You can see one herbicided potato field in the background....BROWN. This photo was taken from the main road in town at a stop light. Pretty cool main road with a farmer's field next to it eh?


Um, YAH, HERBICIDE!!!

See the burned weeds and the ones that were missed at the edge of the field. I pulled over beside the road and took the picture out my passenger window.
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3 comments:

jane said...

Do you think if you gave this information to the charity they would be concerned? I know that most people do not, but all you need is one person. Chemicals have become such a part of human lives nowadays people just accept it. Sad, very sad.

MamaLou said...

Letter has been sent.

Elizabeth said...

Yuck! that makes the price I pay for organic potatoes seem like, well, small potatoes!