Spraying fungicide and side effects

Rue

Member
Mixed Farmer
Hi all,
We're moving onto a small acre of land with a house in the middle, surrounded by fields. Cabbage and wheat I think.

Please excuse my uneducated stance and questions but I'm struggling to get info from the local famers.

Lived in the area for 17 years but this new house is just outside of the Village and it appears that they're spraying the fields constantly at the moment. This is not something I've ever noticed before. I've never once seen a sprayer in the area in 17 years.

The Children and I ended up being sprayed on the Bank hol sadly and then today we had just the toddler with us (Sat) and we were sorting out the garden when the Sprayer came. It's literally opposite our house and the boom was overhanging the field onto the road. He was speeding and we could see and feel the drift. Straight away my eyes and nose were stinging and I became wheezy. We ran indoors as soon as we could. Hours later I'm sat here with a sore throat and wheeze.

Quite concerned for my Toddler so I did message the local farmer to see if they know anything.

We also wanted to grow organic Veg on our land but where do we stand it all around us is spraying? do anyone know?

No attack on the local famers, we're hoping to be able to be friendly with them and hope they'll advise us when they're spraying, so far they don't seem up for that :-/

Bit awkward hey. We need to protect our health but don't want to offend our Farmer neighbour. Just to add it is a residential area, houses dotted along the road. It's Lincolnshire so there are many fields around.

Would putting up fence/conifers keep out a lot of the drift? didn't want to annoy them with shady tree's either as they literally plant right up to our land with no gap. But hey, got to think of my Children too.

Any ideas? why so much spraying too? it seems a massive amount/cost to them.
 

Kidds

Member
Horticulture
As a sprayer operator and cabbage grower I hated spraying the fungicide "Thiram" because it nearly always gave me pretty harsh cold symptoms as soon as I used it. Herbicide Ramrod would give me fairly severe skin irritation yet never bothered the other guys, then again Dursban never bothered me much but absolutely crippled them.
So many chemicals out there that we can't know what you experienced and everyone reacts differently (or not at all) to exposure. Having said that, you should not be exposed to them, especially in your own home/garden.
Even if you are a complete townie just moved into the country it is the farmer in the wrong not you as an incomer and don't let anyone tell you different. It is not OK to allow drift into gardens even if the chemical is claimed to be benign. Make a fuss, the idiot that was on the sprayer is the one in the wrong.
 

GeorgeK

Member
Location
Leicestershire
A fast growing hedge plant like laurel will keep spray drift out and before long it will be tall enough you'll barely see the sprayer. I think this may be best for your peace of mind as even with the best will in the world the crops will still be getting sprayed regularly and there will always be the worry a rogue gust of wind could blow spray onto your property if there's no physical barrier. Providing it's planted on your land I can't see the farmer minding not that they can do anything about it anyway. Under organic standards a good hedge is officially recognised as an acceptable way to separate organic from non organic land.
 

melted welly

Member
Location
DD9.
Hi all,
We're moving onto a small acre of land with a house in the middle, surrounded by fields. Cabbage and wheat I think.

Please excuse my uneducated stance and questions but I'm struggling to get info from the local famers.

Lived in the area for 17 years but this new house is just outside of the Village and it appears that they're spraying the fields constantly at the moment. This is not something I've ever noticed before. I've never once seen a sprayer in the area in 17 years.

The Children and I ended up being sprayed on the Bank hol sadly and then today we had just the toddler with us (Sat) and we were sorting out the garden when the Sprayer came. It's literally opposite our house and the boom was overhanging the field onto the road. He was speeding and we could see and feel the drift. Straight away my eyes and nose were stinging and I became wheezy. We ran indoors as soon as we could. Hours later I'm sat here with a sore throat and wheeze.

Quite concerned for my Toddler so I did message the local farmer to see if they know anything.

We also wanted to grow organic Veg on our land but where do we stand it all around us is spraying? do anyone know?

No attack on the local famers, we're hoping to be able to be friendly with them and hope they'll advise us when they're spraying, so far they don't seem up for that :-/

Bit awkward hey. We need to protect our health but don't want to offend our Farmer neighbour. Just to add it is a residential area, houses dotted along the road. It's Lincolnshire so there are many fields around.

Would putting up fence/conifers keep out a lot of the drift? didn't want to annoy them with shady tree's either as they literally plant right up to our land with no gap. But hey, got to think of my Children too.

Any ideas? why so much spraying too? it seems a massive amount/cost to them.

Plant a hedge, there’s then legal obligation to maintain buffer strip on field side - ie cannot spray or cultivate within 2m of it. Plus it’ll have slight filter effect if the wind blows the wrong way.

Veg won’t be grown in the same field every year, it’ll be on rotation, as will the intensive spraying. Maybe a high aphid pressure at the moment.

As for growing organic veg, if you’re surrounded by arable land, then you’re maybe in a good position - herd immunity?? 👍.
 

Chae1

Member
Location
Aberdeenshire
Any sprayer operator that would continue spraying past a toddler shouldn't be spraying in my opinion. I always stop until people are clear if doing a headland next to a path or a road when I meet cyclists or walkers.

Any fields next to houses get residents telephone numbers and text them warning them when spraying those fields. So they are aware and can take washing in.

Some people are stupid though and seem to be magically drawn to the end of a sprayer boom when it passes.
 

Boysground

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Wiltshire
I only have a couple of fields with houses by them, I always drop the speed right down as I go past. I do have a number of footpaths and usually wait for people to get right out of the way. Not helped last week by somebody waiting for me to go by and take a photo. Now I have section control I have missed bits of headland because of walkers (usually one field where there are often walkers on the margin) and done that patch when I get to it doing the main of the field.

One of the best things that has happened is the removal of dursban it gave me a splitting headache. Some growth restrictiors seem to but not fungicides.

Bg
 

Hindsight

Member
Location
Lincolnshire
Plant a hedge, there’s then legal obligation to maintain buffer strip on field side - ie cannot spray or cultivate within 2m of it. Plus it’ll have slight filter effect if the wind blows the wrong way.

Veg won’t be grown in the same field every year, it’ll be on rotation, as will the intensive spraying. Maybe a high aphid pressure at the moment.

As for growing organic veg, if you’re surrounded by arable land, then you’re maybe in a good position - herd immunity?? 👍.

Hi, not necessarily. I hazard a guess the OP is living around Boston, Possibly in one of the 'in fill' new builds and small housing estates. On this silt land brassicas are grown continuously in many fields, some double cropped. Quite often new houses are builds in fields and there is literally no physical boundary to the garden of the new build and I have seen brassica plants planted half a metre from the new build property garden. Just the way it is here in Lincs around Boston/Holbeach.

The OP ought to find out who has the field and pop to see them. Most farmers locally will be friendly enough and accommodating and apologetic. Quite a bit more liquid fertiliser used now and this can give false impression of extra spraying taking place. Hedge and fence is a good idea as a physical barrier will prevent an awful lot of drift, if any were to happen.

On 'sensitive' locations (awkward householders (!) we aim to spray very early in the morning (dawn) so it is a case hopefully of nothing see, nothing happened. But not always a practical solution.

Hey ho.
 

Hindsight

Member
Location
Lincolnshire
Any sprayer operator that would continue spraying past a toddler shouldn't be spraying in my opinion. I always stop until people are clear if doing a headland next to a path or a road when I meet cyclists or walkers.

Any fields next to houses get residents telephone numbers and text them warning them when spraying those fields. So they are aware and can take washing in.

Some people are stupid though and seem to be magically drawn to the end of a sprayer boom when it passes.

Hi, maybe not quite so straight forward before we convict and execute the sprayer operator!! By the sounds this was not a toddler on a path, or in clear view in advance of the sprayer passing the garden. And as I point out in post 11 in Lincolnshire on the silt around Boston/Holbeach some new builds literally have no boundary between field and new build garden. And the grower/farmer may well have planted brassica upto the boundary. Possibly a contractor as well. So not condoning any actions but keeping an open mind. And hoping the Op can find out the farmer/grower name and engage in a constructive conversation for the future.
 

Steevo

Member
Location
Gloucestershire
An acre of land with the house in the middle?

Sprayer was directly opposite the house over the road and yet you still got sprayed?

Lived in the area 17 years but never seen a sprayer?

Not knocking the OP who sounds pretty reasonable, if a bit (justifiable!) fearful based on over-hyped up media reporting of spraying etc.

The countryside isn’t quite the sleepy rural idyll that some people’s imagination allows them to think it to be.

I think a fence sounds like an eminently sensible solution to this situation.
 

Rue

Member
Mixed Farmer
Thank you for all of your great replies.

Just to answer- Our house is in the middle of almost an acre of land, in width. We do not have a lot of front garden or back so the sprayer comes close. The Children's bedrooms will be the front rooms. We think they spray the back too but we've never seen those fields being sprayed as yet. We know the farmer for that field.

Our land sits lower than the road and field opposite and it's often quite gusty there. This is why we got hit with the drift. The Boom was hanging over the path and spraying passing cars too also passing Bikes. He was speeding and the drift was visible. I don't think he needed to spray that close. Good job nobody was walking by at that moment.

The house has been there since the 70's and it had another house sitting there previous for around 200years. I think it was also a farm at one time that has lost it's land over the years. There aren't any new homes nearby, it's a well established street with farm land that is rented out mostly I believe.

It's true, I've not actually seen the spraying locally before now. Others say they have closer to the centre. However, I wasn't aware this strip got sprayed. I would never have considered living there.
I think the field is rented and it may be that they didn't used to grow here, it was mud/grass previously.

The sprayer saw us there gardening I'm sure. I've seen him look at us, but I do get he has a job to do. I'm not quite sure he's doing it right the way he speeds around and I'd love him to be a little more considerate if not. Maybe leave a nice gap from the path/roads.

Nobody is getting back to me at the moment but hope they do soon. The last response I had from a neighbouring farmer was basically that the booms are low to prevent drift and any time can be spray time. It seems they're really over spraying right now. We can't live like that.

We had our vents open upstairs and I could actually smell it in what will be my Daughters bedroom. I thought maybe I was imagining it but my Husband could too. We are seriously considering not moving there now and can you imagine the hassle of that. We're renovating it and hope to be ready soon. Our neighbouring farmer seems much more considerate but also not too forthcoming with any information.

It's been sprayed a lot while we've been there and it's made us feel quite unwell. The local Councillor told me that ''it's safe but just pongs a bit''. So I thought, okay, but that's not been the case.

Not quite sure what to do if I can't find out who is spraying/owns the land.

The Red Tractor said- Baxter 3000 I think.
 

Steevo

Member
Location
Gloucestershire
A quick Google suggests what looks like a pretty professional outfit if it’s who I think. I won’t post their details on here however as I don’t feel that would be fair.

Sadly agriculture today and the wider UK population are at a bit of a disconnect and both can rub each other up the wrong way as a result of a lack of understanding.
 

Oilseed

Member
Location
North Cambs
Thank you for posting this Rue. It is interesting to hear your point of view.
I am a sprayer operator who has to spray next to many gardens and it causes me a great deal of anxiety as I realise how much spray does worry the general public.
I always try to spray a field when the wind is off peoples gardens, however this is not always possible as these sprays have to be applied in quite tight time frames.
The chemicals we use now days are not allowed to be bad for human health and in most cases will not be any where near as harmfull as the bleach you no doubt keep under your kitchen sink and spray on your work surfaces.
 

glasshouse

Member
Location
lothians
Hi all,
We're moving onto a small acre of land with a house in the middle, surrounded by fields. Cabbage and wheat I think.

Please excuse my uneducated stance and questions but I'm struggling to get info from the local famers.

Lived in the area for 17 years but this new house is just outside of the Village and it appears that they're spraying the fields constantly at the moment. This is not something I've ever noticed before. I've never once seen a sprayer in the area in 17 years.

The Children and I ended up being sprayed on the Bank hol sadly and then today we had just the toddler with us (Sat) and we were sorting out the garden when the Sprayer came. It's literally opposite our house and the boom was overhanging the field onto the road. He was speeding and we could see and feel the drift. Straight away my eyes and nose were stinging and I became wheezy. We ran indoors as soon as we could. Hours later I'm sat here with a sore throat and wheeze.

Quite concerned for my Toddler so I did message the local farmer to see if they know anything.

We also wanted to grow organic Veg on our land but where do we stand it all around us is spraying? do anyone know?

No attack on the local famers, we're hoping to be able to be friendly with them and hope they'll advise us when they're spraying, so far they don't seem up for that :-/

Bit awkward hey. We need to protect our health but don't want to offend our Farmer neighbour. Just to add it is a residential area, houses dotted along the road. It's Lincolnshire so there are many fields around.

Would putting up fence/conifers keep out a lot of the drift? didn't want to annoy them with shady tree's either as they literally plant right up to our land with no gap. But hey, got to think of my Children too.

Any ideas? why so much spraying too? it seems a massive amount/cost to them.
Spray shouldnt be drifting onto houses
 

DrWazzock

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lincolnshire
Yes the spray shouldn’t be getting onto anything but the crop for which it was intended. That’s the theory and should be the practice. We should wait until the wind is blowing away from neighbouring land. We should use low drift nozzles or lower pressure and /or keep the forward speed down to avoid higher pressure and drifty spray.
It’s also the case that spray droplets might not the getting onto the neighbours land by the fumes or vapours might be going that way. The vapour is much more difficult for the operator to control as it can arise through evaporation for a while after the spraying operation is complete and drift or even diffuse over a considerable area.
Personally I find a lot of these new fungicides really do stink. I have to spray them in the field round my own house and garden and although none of the spray actually drifts into my own garden I can smell the stuff when I go to bed. Hasn’t lolled me yet but I don’t particularly like it. Price of getting a crop to harvest. Difficult one, but the sprayer operator should be using the utmost care and consideration. Doing what he can.
 
Thank you for posting this Rue. It is interesting to hear your point of view.
I am a sprayer operator who has to spray next to many gardens and it causes me a great deal of anxiety as I realise how much spray does worry the general public.
I always try to spray a field when the wind is off peoples gardens, however this is not always possible as these sprays have to be applied in quite tight time frames.
The chemicals we use now days are not allowed to be bad for human health and in most cases will not be any where near as harmfull as the bleach you no doubt keep under your kitchen sink and spray on your work surfaces.

Go around each house and just offer to whatsapp them all the day before you spray?

If any of the chemicals used today were that lethal to human health that the diluted spray was going to wipe people out etc they would have been banned 20 years ago at least.

We get one of these kinds of threads on TFF every year. People posting to the effect that they are concerned by the effect of pesticides being used nearby, yet these will invariably be the very same people who are using household fly spray or pet treatments without a second thought after filling up their car with petrol or diesel and forgetting to wear gloves despite the fact they are handling multiple known carcinogens whilst doing so.

Asa spray operator, the main thing you should be concerned about is wiping out someone's goldfish pond with pyrethroids or having some forefront drift and wipe out their spuds. Fortunately there are ways of mitigating drift these days, hence why I liked to use a adjuvant for this exact reason when spraying grassland in the spring and summer months.
 

DrWazzock

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lincolnshire
I'm not saying the OP is wrong to raise the issue but I think that before anybody buys a house in the "countryside" they should be presented with an information pack of possible risks, noises and smells etc. With the best will in the world it isn't possible to guarantee that neighbours won't be able to small the substances we are using as we are relying on the weather to blow the right way and for timings etc.
Is the smell of the occasional ag chem any worse than living in a town near diesel and petrol fume polluted roads? I wouldn't think so. It's just one of those thngs. It'll reduce now anyway as we pass peak spraying time. I will glad as well. I am sick of loading and lathering on chemical. If I could think of a way of avoiding using them I would. Necessary evil and all that.
 

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