Herbicide Drift Study

A new study titled Impact of Airborne Herbicide Residues on Wine Grape Production will assess the potential impact of regional herbicide applications on wine-grape production in both Oregon and Washington. This is a cooperative effort between WSU, OSU, and the Washington Department of Agriculture. The study will evaluate herbicide drift (or a lack of) by examining data collected from nine separate monitoring stations. One of the monitoring stations is located in Boardman at the Port of Morrow. Another site is located at the Port of Umatilla. There is a site in a vineyard in the Milton-Freewater area and at various locations in Benton County and Klickitat County in Washington.

Dr. Vince Hebert, Project Leader, WSU-TriCities, says data acquired from the study will be used to: (1) differentiate between localized, directional (regional), and general non-point sources of herbicide drift that can potentially impact wine grape production in Washington and Oregon and (2) evaluate the possibility that regional transport of phenoxy esters applied in Oregon (after Washington state cutoff dates) are causes of vineyard damage in Washington.

Data collected at the monitoring stations will include measurements of atmospheric deposition (herbicide residues that fall from the atmosphere onto some sort of a collection device), the biological response of sentinel plants (plants that will show symptoms of herbicide damage if exposed to herbicides), and/or the concentration of herbicides in air samples. Herbicides that will be tested for include: (1) ester and salt formulations of 2,4-D, (2) other phenoxies, and (3) benzoic acids (ClarityÒ and BanvelÒ)-herbicides used in wheat, barley, sweet corn, field corn, and/or grass seed production.

If data indicates localized or regional sources of drift do damage vineyards, the research team will provide educational activities related to climatic factors and application practices that influence the transport of herbicides in air. They will also work with the Washington and Oregon State Departments of Agriculture and affected commodity groups to recommend alternative use practices.

Project personnel are listed below.
Project Leaders:
V. R. Hebert, Assistant Entomologist, FEQL, WSU-TriCities
A. A. Felsot, Entomologist, FEQL, WSU-TriCities
Technical Support:
K. Pfeufer-Wiegers, Profigen, Inc (Agrivitis), Paterson, WA
Cooperators:
G. Amos, WSDA-Yakima
D. Ball, Associate Professor, Weed Science, CBARC, OSU-Pendleton

Source: Larry Lutcher,Crops Agent OSU/Morrow County Extension Service

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