2 Responses

  1. Richard L Knowles
    Richard L Knowles at |

    7-8 years ago I could furnish the neighborhood with tomatoes,bell pepper, from a small garden in my backyard in a rural neighborhood in Murfreesboro NC. Now I can hardly get enough to make a tomato sandwich The leaves look identical to the problems associated with dicamba . I’ve taken soil samples tried everything I know and information from experts. Several have told me it’s coming from herbicide drift. After fighting this problem and going downhill for the last 6-7 years I’m ready to give up on gardening

    1. Chuck Benbrook
      Chuck Benbrook at |

      Richard — I sure hope you don’t give up gardening. One strategy, until you definitively figure out what has been causing the problems, is to plant more heavily veg crops not as sensitive to dicamba and 2,4-D drift, and avoid those that are highly sensitive. I don’t have a list handy, but that is a good task for us to take on. Another good first step is to figure out what herbicides are likely used on substantial acreage within 1 mile of your farm/garden. I am sure you know the top 3 or 4. Then, you can go to the Pesticide Use Data System on Hygiea, select those crops and “North Carolina”, and see what the most widely used herbicides have been in recent years.
      For example, if you pick corn as the crop; and under “Select Pesticide Group” you pick “Herbicides”; pick North Carolina under “Select State/Nation”; and, 2016 as the year, you will see that atrazine was the most widely used herbicide (71% of corn acres treated, and not likely the source of your problem), but 27% was sprayed with 2,4-D, a highly volatile herbicide, and possibly the source of the damage you have been experiencing. Another solid step, although sometimes not a comfortable one, is to ask neighboring farmers what herbicides they have applied on the fields near you.


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