Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Peace Disrupted

It is a beautiful morning here on the farm, cool and clear. As I was sitting down at the computer enjoying my cup of coffee a familiar sound reached my ears. The drone of a spray plane (crop duster) whined through the morning quiet, and it was close! The plane flew right over the house and proceeded to spray a field a quarter mile from us, at times circling directly above us at low altitude.

photo curtesy of the ISU Entomology Department website

Now the pilot was well within the law and the conditions were perfect, nearly still wind and before the 8:00am stop time for spraying within a mile of registered honey bee hives. But still, given our past experience with herbicide overdrift, I always get a little queasy at that sound. Blue wasn't very happy about it either and ran around "chasing" the plane when it got close, barking wildly to scare it off. She looked rather triumphant when it would fly away, only to start up again when it circled back.

The plane has now moved off to further fields, but I can still just make out the drone of its engines as it passes back and forth over a field to our southwest. I understand the "need" for this kind of chemical control and application in the large industry of mono-culture, but it doesn't mean I'm happy about it.


ma ma ma said...

arg for the bees! no good with the spraying. Though I have to admit to being relentless in trying to kill the bitey red ants that are swarming right off our patio in Texas. Wish we would have made that farm trip happen while we were in IA. Too much to do, to tired to do it all!

BlueGate said...

It would have been great to see you, but totally understand the time crunch!
I feel for you with the fire ants, there are few things more obnoxious!
Full strength orange oil mixed with a little glycerin based soap and hot water poured directly into their mound will kill them off.
Good luck!

Carolina Trekker said...

My sister lives on a small farm in Iowa. One summer I was visiting her and the leaves on all the trees in her yard were burned & crisp. A plane had sprayed the neighbors fields & the wind had carried it to her yard. It was sad to see them like that.

Headfam said...

Greg thinks you should put registered beehives at every corner of your property. Hmmmm.... Regardless, my heart stopped for a second when I saw this. Scary stuff!!