With Proper Planning, Produce, Pesticides Can Coexist in Iowa (Audio)

The picnic tables will be loaded with fresh foods as friends and family gather for the Fourth of July, but some in Iowa believe there is a threat to the integrity of those locally-produced fruits and vegetables. Donna Prizgintas is a chef in Ames who relies on fresh ingredients from area growers. She says she has concerns about pesticide drift and residue for produce farmers, home gardeners and consumers.

Glyphosate is a widely used herbicide and in a recent assessment, it was frequently detected in Iowa surface waters, rain and air. The agricultural industry is vital to Iowa’s economy, so Prizgintas says with better cooperation, pesticides and produce can coexist.

Prizgintas says the careful application of pesticides will be even more important going forward, with the expected approval of corn and soybeans tolerant to the pesticide 2-4-D.

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship operates a registry for producers to list the locations of their sensitive crops, so pesticide applicators can identify those areas and minimize the potential for damage from drift.