The Q&A Archives: Barrier For Chemical Drift

Question: I am just moving onto an acreage. My proposed gardens/nursery will be bordering a corn/soybean field. I want to plant a hedge between the garden and the field that may help act as a barrier for whatever herbicides or other chemicals will be applied to the field. Something fast growing, dense enough to catch most of the chemical drift, 6-10' tall and reasonably spray resistant. Is there such a thing? I have planted many lilacs and the rabbits and deer don't seem to bother them but I would like something faster growing. Thank you in advance. Ron Johnson

Answer: The answer really depends on what is being sprayed. For example, glyphosate is nonselective and drift will damage or kill any plant it contacts. In most areas there are strict application guidelines that must be followed to avoid the chances of drift to neighboring property. You might want to contact your county extension (732-5056) to find out what would be likely to be applied to those crops and how best to protect against any accidental drift or overspray. They should also be able to help you with selecting the most appropriate plants for wind break -- although lilac is often suggested. You might also want to talk to your neighbor about your concerns.

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