There is a common mantra that farmers “douse” or “soak” their crops in pesticides.
This is just not the truth.
Usually used in connection with an anti-GMO position, specifically against herbicide-resistant crops, activists complain that biotechnology allows farmers to apply more and more of the herbicide. However, as Nurse Loves Farmers explained in an excellent post, the amount of Round-Up (a popular herbicide) used is actually only about a pop can to one acre. For those not as familiar with the area of an acre, that’s about 75% of an American football field. The reality is that the majority of what gets sprayed out into the field is simply water, as the chemicals are diluted into the water.
Over the weekend, the thought struck me while I was taking video and photographs of my dad spraying herbicides. I took this photo literally less than 30 seconds after he had passed over it with the sprayer. I added the white line so you can clearly see where my dad’s marker line is (the marker lets him know where he’s been in the field so he doesn’t go over the same piece twice).
Can you tell the difference between which side was just sprayed and which side hasn’t been sprayed yet?
Obviously, there is no visual difference between the two. You can’t even see any moisture on the leaves to tell where you’ve been in the field. That is a far cry from “dousing” or “soaking” the field.