By: Judit Monis, Ph.D. and Brian D. Kaider, Esq.
When damage caused by an herbicide is noticed in the vineyard, growers must act quickly to determine the injury's cause. In all instances, damage must be documented with photos. n addition, physical samples must be submitted to a lab to determine which pesticide is the culprit of the injury. Since there are many different possible chemicals that can cause similar symptoms, the grower needs to have some knowledge as to what chemical is suspected as the laboratory needs to perform specific tests to confirm the presence. A common problem is that chemicals can move a long distance, hence not always easy to determine where the drift originated. However, if the grower, knows the origin of the herbicide (saw spraying activity in a nearby farm), s/he could attempt to ask the farmer to follow label directions to avoid drift or to use a less volatile product. If the activity continues in spite of the request, the only viable solution may be to take legal action against the perpetrators.
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