skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Black voters in battleground states are a crucial voting bloc in 2024; Nikki Haley says she's voting for Trump in November; healthcare advocates suggest medical collaboration to treat fibroids; distinct vibes at IU Indianapolis pro-Palestinian protest.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

The House GOP moves to strike mention of Trump's criminal trial from the record, and his former rival Nikki Haley endorses him. Meanwhile, Ohio Republicans reject a legislative fix to ensure Biden's name appears on the November ballot.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

Pesticide-drift concerns still hang over ag industry

play audio
Play

Tuesday, March 26, 2024   

Pesticides are still common in agriculture. Organic producers who avoid them have seen ups and downs in pushing for stronger regulations, and they point to a South Dakota example of the harm associated with widespread use among neighboring farms.

At the heart of the regulatory fight is the application of the weed-killing pesticide dicamba, and how it can drift from one farm to another. Last month, a federal court blocked "over the top" spraying of dicamba products, but the EPA followed with an order to allow the spraying of existing supplies.

Glenn Pulse, co-owner of an organic farm in Vermillion, said a 2017 drift incident had a big impact on his operation.

"Our entire farm was covered. We lost a lot of livestock, and thousands of bees were killed," he explained.

It also resulted in health concerns for his family, having to regain his organic farmer certification, and a legal battle over restitution. Groups such as the National Family Farm Coalition have been fighting what they call the deregulation of these chemicals, arguing the drift and runoff effect has damaged millions of crops.

Dicamba-manufacturing companies deny responsibility, instead blaming farmers who apply it for not following guidelines.

The EPA has said there were already millions of gallons of dicamba in circulation prior to the court's ruling, prompting the agency's order. Pulse feels there are farmers who are careful in spraying chemicals, but he wants stronger enforcement against those he describes as "loose cannons."

"The guys that are not following the labels and they're spraying in weather conditions that are not favorable, that is where, I would say, 90% of the problems are happening with drift incidents," Pulse said.

His calls for better responses to these incidents coincide with policy demands to heavily restrict dicamba products. Meanwhile, Rep. Dusty Johnson, D-South Dakota, is the main sponsor of a bill supporters say would assure uniformity in national pesticide labeling under federal law. But opponents argue it would limit longstanding state and local pesticide safety rules.

Disclosure: National Family Farm Coalition contributes to our fund for reporting on Environment, Rural/Farming, Social Justice, Sustainable Agriculture. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
more stories
Marine research on a recent expedition off of Santa Cruz Island in Southern California mapped the habitat of red gorgonian coral, sea stars and sheepshead fish. (Danny Ocampo/Oceana)

Environment

play sound

Marine researchers just wrapped up the first of three ocean expeditions off the coast of Southern California to map the biodiversity and support effor…


Social Issues

play sound

Michigan's population has hovered around the 10 million mark for the past 20+ years, but the state's latest report outlines projections of a …

Health and Wellness

play sound

As outdoor activities ramp up, May is a good time to think about observing good skin-care practices. More skin cancers are diagnosed than all …


The current lack of cohesive planning has made building new transmission lines difficult, prompting FERC's new rule. (Gregory Johnston/Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

A new step from the federal government takes a step toward modernizing the process for building energy transmission lines - while also protecting wild…

Social Issues

play sound

Americans got a bit of a reprieve last month, as food and auto prices dipped for the first time in 90 days. As Texas households continue to deal …

Black women are at particularly high risk of heart disease and stroke during pregnancy, which TaShenma Mack found out firsthand before the birth of her daughter. (Photo courtesy of TaShenma Mack)

Health and Wellness

play sound

North Carolina's maternal death rate is higher than the national average and cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death among new moms in th…

play sound

The effect of technical glitches in overhauling the student financial-aid form known as FAFSA is still being felt. Issues stemming from a redesign …

Social Issues

play sound

A newly passed Connecticut bill will modernize the teacher certification process. House Bill 5436 is expected to make it easier for educators to …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021