Pesticide Drift: "Dying on the Vine"

"OAKLAND, Ore. — The 2010 grape harvest on Legacy Vineyards could have been worse. Considering the wet spring, cool summer and late harvest marred by the arrival of hundreds of hungry migrating birds, the 6 tons of tempranillo grapes and 3 tons of pinot noir were a respectable take.

But the best news for wine growers Kevin and Karen Kohlman was this: Their vines did not get hit this season by pesticides drifting onto their property from surrounding private industrial forestlands. That’s a change.

The California couple moved to Oregon in 1999 with dreams of creating a new vineyard. Under their plan, 2010 should have yielded 26 tons of grapes. Instead, year after year they’ve watched vines wither and die, killed by herbicide drift so severe it has sterilized the soil in places. They’ve put off launching their own label while they rebuild from the financial damage."

Susan Palmer reports for the Eugene Register-Guard January 2, 2011.

SEE ALSO:

"Rules Regulating Pesticide Spraying Vary Widely by State" (Eugene Register-Guard)

Monday, January 3, 2011