Sunday, May 01, 2011

desiccation

Why do so many people look at me as though I am crazy or some sort of conspiracy theorist when I mention the fact that so many crops are now desiccated with herbicide immediately prior to harvest? I actually got in a bit of an argument with a person yesterday who didn't believe me? Albeit, I had another lady bring up the fact herself...whew...ok, I am not crazy. Glad to hear it.

For all those who do not believe me that is just too bad. It is a fact. It is not an urban legend. Instead of swathing wheat, most conventional farmers now spray their wheat crops several days prior to combining. In this way the wheat can dry down all at once and still stay standing to avoid any moisture damage that can occur in a swath.

In the states and drier, warmer climates, desiccation is not necessary. The growing season is long enough to simply allow the wheat to die off and dry naturally. Up here in Canada, that is not practical so you see tracks in the nearly mature wheat that indicate a sprayer has been in action.

You don't often actually see the farmer spraying. I can't help but think that this is on purpose. I have seen the spraying many times though and I know for a fact that it is now an extremely common practice. I challenge all of you to observe for yourself this fall. When I see it again next fall I will video it for you all to see for yourself. In the meantime, have a look at Kevin's video interview of our farm from last summer where he shows some of the tracks.

FROM LOCAL FARMS - Gold Forest Grains from Kevin Kossowan on Vimeo.

4 comments:

  1. Dessication is extremely common in our area too. They are also doing it on Canola now too with some wax based stuff called pod seal I think. Not good...

    ReplyDelete
  2. I live even further north than you, up by Grande Prairie. Our family farm is right beside a massive industrial grain operation and I can say that what you have said here is very true. I do not have video of fall spraying either but perhaps this year I will take some.

    Last year dad was out doing some fall cultivation on our cab-less tractor when the neighbor came out to start spraying late one evening. Dad had to stop and come in as the spray was drifting over to our field and landing on him. Dirty, dirty modern industrial ag!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Well your dad must be a gentle soul. I am afraid that there may have been punches thrown if that were me on my tractor...certainly would've been a call to my lawyer.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have spoken to several farm hands in Montana and they all admit that RoundUP and Paraquat are used as dessication agents on wheat, beans, etc. What does this do for us if they are spraying the seed heads with toxic chemicals? No farmer in clear conscience should spray anything crops in harvest season. That's insane!

    ReplyDelete