2,4-D Bill Introduced in Nebraska
A bill that seeks to put restrictions on the application of certain herbicides, specifically 2,4-D, is now under consideration in the Nebraska state legislature. Senator Norm Wallman, of Courtland, introduced LB 636 at the urging of the Nebraska Winery & Grape Growers Association (NWGGA). While the bill does not ban spraying of 2-4-D, it does require sprayers to give notice of when and where they are going to spray 2 4-D between April 15 and September 15. Those applicators in violation of these restrictions would be subject to fines.
See related story: Identifying Herbicide Drift Damage
Contact with 2,4-D in any form is extremely damaging to specialty crops with multiple Nebraska grape growers suffering devastating, and in some cases, total losses in recent years as a result of spray drift from the use of this herbicide. The estimated loss in Nebraska wine sales exceeded $1 million due to vineyard damage by herbicide drift in 2012. The loss can be further exacerbated by the fact that damage sustained in an incident of exposure to 2,4-D carries over to damage the crop in following years.
‘We applaud Senator Wallman’s recognition of this problem and his willingness to step forward to help, ‘ said Seth McFarland, President of the NWGGA ‘It is critical that this situation is addressed if we are to continue to be a key component of rural economic development and maintain a thriving wine and grape industry in Nebraska.”