It has begun – again. The annual cycle of spraying and spreading that seems to go on constantly once the crops start to grow.

It really isn’t something you ever think about, unless you happen to live adjacent to arable fields (although, those living close to farms with livestock will undoubtedly have to put up with the joys of muck spreading). Next to us is a field of winter wheat and from now until the crop is harvested there will be a constant army of tractors weaving up and down the field spreading who-knows-what chemicals onto the land. In some years it starts as early as February, the first I noticed was last weekend although I suspect the tractors have been out earlier.

Unless you happen to live next to a field where the farmer is spraying you probably won’t be aware of what is happening. But if you do live in the immediate vicinity it can be anything from a minor irritation to a big problem. If there is even the slightest breeze you will suffer from drift, where the fine spray floats well beyond the field boundary and into gardens and houses. Depending upon what is being sprayed it could kill your garden plants/fish/animals or contaminate ponds. Food you grow yourself without artificial pesticides or fertilizers are given regular doses of the very chemicals you are trying to avoid using. And what about the health effects, both short and long-term?

Our solution is to have high hedges surrounding part of our property, keeping indoors if we see the tractors looming and closing all windows. It doesn’t stop the effects of the pesticides on our environment but it lessens the impact on us directly. Along with closing the windows and fetching the washing in we do the best we can.

If you are interested in finding out more, please go to:

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  1. yachtlyra says:

    I had no idea how bad it was. The muck spreading, hay gathering and cows reaching into the garden that went on in our old home seem benign in comparison.

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