Gary Phelps, Grower
Gary Phelps is a tree farmer from Kentucky. Gary has been farming with Greenridge Trees for 22 years. His crop was exposed to off-target 2,4-D applied by a neighboring farmer. His crop was rendered totally unmarketable for the following harvest season.
“Our company was decimated by this chemical exposure. We continue to try to regain the confidence of our customer base, but it may never be the same. I have joined this coalition to see that no other specialty crop producer has to endure the devastation that our farm has experienced.”
Dave Simmons, Grower
Dave Simmons is a family farmer from Indiana. Dave has been farming for 29 years. Dave first planted grapes on his farm in 1998 and opened Simmons Winery in 2000.
“2,4-D drift and volatilization has become a huge problem on my farm. It has now become an annual occurrence causing significant damage to my vineyard. Not even the state chemist can determine where this volatilization comes from.”
Jody Herr, Grower
Jody Herr is a family farmer from Indiana. Herr Farms raises a variety of fresh market vegetables which are sold wholesale to customers in Chicago and surrounding areas. Jody has two sons he hopes will continue the family business.
“Over the years, I have experienced several instances where an herbicide has volatilized and moved to my fields damaging our fresh market vegetable crops. With the possibility of an even longer application window and increased usage of these products, I fear the occurrences of volatilization and direct drift will continue to escalate.”
Adam Howell, Grower
Adam Howell is a family farmer from Indiana. Howell Farms raises corn, soybeans, pumpkins, and processing tomatoes.
“The farmer community will suffer through the widespread use of dicamba and 2,4-D products. We have been through drift cases in the past. We will go through more every year if these products are used more regularly. They create additional costs to us, and I fear community relationships will suffer and deteriorate.”
Steve Smith, Processor
Steve Smith is Director of Agriculture for Red Gold of Indiana, the world’s largest privately held canned tomato processor. Steve is an agriculturalist, born and raised on a Midwestern family farm that has continued for more than 100 years.
“The potential for a 1070% increase in synthetic auxin herbicide use threatens the survival of the specialty crop production in the Midwest. While we are not opposed to new technology itself, the widespread use of dicamba and 2,4-D is a threat to our business.”
Jean Sieler, Farmer’s Advocate
Jean Sieler is an attorney representing growers involved in drift damage litigation in both Michigan and Ohio. Jean was raised on a farm in Riga, Michigan, where her family raised produce and grain crops, and had a small greenhouse operation.
“Our courts and communities are already struggling with the divisive affects of spray drift from genetically altered crops. Right now, this issue is pitting neighbor against neighbor. The volatilization issues associated with 2,4-D and dicamba make tracing the source of the application more difficult, and proving liability for those with devastated crops even more costly and uncertain.”
What We Can Do
Get involved!: Join the Save Our Crops Coalition.
We provide regular updates to members to inform them of opportunities to appropriately participate in the regulatory process in an effort to protect against non-target damage from the use of 2,4-D and dicamba.