As AgNet West has reported, a side effect of the COVID-19 social distancing advisories has been an uptick in complaints about agriculture applications. Agriculture Commissioners’ offices are getting calls about possible drift and strong odors. Santa Barbara County Deputy Ag Commissioner Lottie Martin said organic applications had been the source of many of their complaints, and there are several things applicators can consider while a higher percentage of the general public is at home.
“One of the biggest things is to look at their lineup of what they intend to spray and see if they have something that smells really bad they may want to work with their pest control advisor and switch out with something that has less odor,” Martin said. “They can sometimes use odor masks, the timing of the application based on wind patterns.”
Martin added that if drift or pesticide is involved in the complaint, they are required to do an investigation. She said keeping some data on conditions during your application is a good idea. “It’s certainly not required,” she said. “…but it’s a lot nicer to have information from the actual site.”
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