The Nebraska Winery and Grape Growers Association says one of its biggest challenges is herbicide drift.
Lori Paulsen, executive director, says spraying 2-4-D near a vineyard can be devastating.
“It can drift up to ten miles, especially if it’s sprayed on a windy, hot day,” Paulsen tells Nebraska Radio Network. “It can take the entire crop of a vineyard, or it can take the vines out completely.”
The Association is educating 2-4-D users in an effort to keep vineyards safe.
“If herbicide drift comes to a vineyard and it takes out those vines, they can’t re-plant until the next year,” Paulsen says. “Then it’s another three to four years before you can harvest grapes again.”
Paulsen some grape growers have left the business after a herbicide destroyed their vineyard.
“We hope that people can avoid spraying (2-4-D) during our pollination period, which is early May until the middle of June,” she says. “That makes a big difference in whether you take out a vineyard or not.”