Grower Survey to Assess Herbicide Drift Damage in the North Central United States

Is herbicide drift a problem? Please share your thoughts and experiences with the Herbicide Drift Risk Management Working Group. Your feedback will provide details on the frequency, severity, and economic impact of herbicide drift on specialty crops.

Input is needed from growers of fruits, vegetables, and other specialty crops in the upper Midwest, especially growers who have experienced drift damage, growers who have concerns around this issue, and even growers who have not dealt with drift but who grow sensitive crops in drift-prone regions. Survey responses are expected to help establish herbicide drift as a serious economic and regulatory concern in the North Central United States.

Growers may complete the survey at go.osu.edu/drift44

Who should take this survey? 

The study is for commercial growers of fruits, vegetables, and other specialty crops in Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Indiana, Michigan, North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Even if you have never experienced herbicide damage, your feedback is important if you grow specialty crops in one of these states. 

Why is this survey necessary? 

Dicamba and 2,4-D drift damage has made headlines in recent years, but no study to-date has attempted to quantify the overall impact drift has on the specialty crop industry. While all states have a way for growers to file a drift complaint, the process and requirements are inconsistent and may involve time and information that a grower does not have. In most states, for instance, the source of the drift must be identified. Research has found that dicamba and 2,4-D both have the potential to travel for miles in specific weather conditions, making source identification difficult.

What good will this survey do? 

This study is designed to assess the potential and actual frequency of drift damage, along with the severity and economic impact of such damage. The survey includes questions on grower awareness, experience, actions, and decisions related to herbicide drift and drift-risk management. The responses will help establish needs for research on drift mechanisms, prevention, and remediation; and/or the need to review current policy and reporting requirements. 

How long will it take? 

The survey takes 5-20 minutes to complete, depending on your experience with drift damage. 

How will this data be shared? 

Summarized survey data will be shared broadly with regulatory agencies, university educators and researchers, agricultural policy makers, grower support organizations, and the general public using news articles, report summaries, and peer-reviewed journal articles. While this study is administered by The Ohio State University, it was planned in partnership with industry experts across the region who will assist with sharing results. Participants may also request a copy of the study summary. 

How will my data be used and protected?

Your privacy is important. No individual survey data will be released or shared beyond the limited group of project staff. The survey questions and procedures have been reviewed by the institutional review board at The Ohio State University and are designed to protect your data and identity. Additional details on privacy and confidentiality are provided at the beginning of the survey. 

How can I learn more? 

The North Central IPM Center’s Herbicide Drift Risk Management Working Group created a series of fact sheets on herbicide drift especially for specialty crop growers. The series includes: Overview of Dicamba and 2,4-D Drift Issues, Frequently Asked Questions, Preparing for Drift Damage, and Responding to Drift Damage. Fact sheets and more information about our special project group and study are available at go.osu.edu/ipm-drift.

This study is facilitated by The Ohio State University and is funded by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture through agreement 2018-70006-28884. This study is being conducted in cooperation with regional universities and non-profit grower organizations.

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