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Living Near Industrial Ag

 
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My family lives near thousands and thousands of acres of citrus trees (mainly oranges) in Florida.

When we found this house we didn't realize how bad the spraying of pesticides would be. During peak season (September - May) the plot across from us sprays two, three, sometimes four days a week.
That's just one plot across from us that we can hear and see spraying. Not to mention the other ten thousand acres behind him.

Looking into pesticide drift and the different kinds used on different crops, it seems like citrus is one of the worst crops to be near. A pesticide that causes brain damage that was previously banned has recently been unbanned. I am worried for my family, particularly my 1 year old son. Even our well water has to have a special filter by law to filter out previously used toxic chemicals that have leached into the soil and water table.

We don't have many resources to just get up and move to a new spot quickly. We love our home, but I feel like we are being forced to leave due to the unsafe conditions.

If anyone has any ideas or recommendations I would greatly appreciate reading them. Thanks for the help
 
pollinator
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That is really tough. It makes me so thankful I just live surrounded by wheat.

Other than moving the only thing I can come up with is planting trees to block the drift. I'm sorry!
 
master steward
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Sounds like the only choices are to move or get the citrus farmers to stop spraying.  I'm guessing you have more control over moving than you do over the farmers.  Long term options like wind breaks will likely help eventually but probably won't knock down the spray enough to make it as safe as you want.

Elle's lucky she lives by wheat in a dry state.  In my state I've been lead to believe that wheat is sprayed too...
 
pollinator
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You will have to move.
 
pollinator
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How unfortunate. I wouldn't  take any chances with a young being. They are much more susceptible to damage from the environment. I would move ASAP no matter what it took, even if it meant going into a small apartment while getting the house sold and finding a new one.
 
steward
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Sorry to hear about your situation. I'll also ditto others suggestions to just move. It's one thing you're in control of, and I think it's impossible to put a price on health & wellbeing and life.
 
pollinator
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This is tough. I lived surrounded by cherry orchards for a few years. My dog got an autoimmune disease and almost died. I had to send him to live with my parents until we could get out of there. Every time he came back, it flared back up.

Cherries get sprayed a lot, too. But sometimes what they were spraying was fertilizer or something pretty innocuous. The orchard where I was would send emails out to surrounding properties telling you what they were spraying and when, so you could make sure your windows were closed that day or whatever. Maybe there's something like that you could access, too.

Seeing how sick my dog got was pretty telling. Even though my other dog and my husband and I were fine, there was obviously very bad stuff in the environment that we were being exposed to every day. I couldn't wait to move.
 
Patrick Humphrey
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Thank you everyone for all the replies and ideas. My gut has been telling me we need to move no matter what and its good to hear some other people say the same thing. Makes me feel less crazy about taking it so seriously. Most friends and family just seem to blow it off as not a big deal.
 
Patrick Humphrey
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Jan White wrote:This is tough. I lived surrounded by cherry orchards for a few years. My dog got an autoimmune disease and almost died. I had to send him to live with my parents until we could get out of there. Every time he came back, it flared back up.

Cherries get sprayed a lot, too. But sometimes what they were spraying was fertilizer or something pretty innocuous. The orchard where I was would send emails out to surrounding properties telling you what they were spraying and when, so you could make sure your windows were closed that day or whatever. Maybe there's something like that you could access, too.

Seeing how sick my dog got was pretty telling. Even though my other dog and my husband and I were fine, there was obviously very bad stuff in the environment that we were being exposed to every day. I couldn't wait to move.



Sorry for the double post. I am sorry to hear about your dog. I hope he is doing much better, im glad you got him and your family out of there. We already had two outdoor pasture guinea pigs die and the vet suspected pesticide poisoning. :(

The farmers here seem like they could care less to notify anyone. They spray in the middle of the day when cars are driving by 10ft from their spraying. We've had to run inside many times just to avoid it.
There are schools in the area that directly border the groves and they will spray in the middle of the day while the kids are in school.

The only recourse we have found is a possible fine which is under $100 and is a huge bureaucratic mess just to make a complaint.

 
master pollinator
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My neighbor is a major farmer.  His family has been well established in this area.  He has his philosophies; I have mine.  I have maintained a good relationship with him.  He has helped me numerous times, and I have helped him.  He keeps me well informed of his actions that might impact me.  For example, he let's me know well in advance when crop dusting will be done so I have time to lock down my bees, cover my raised beds, and protect livestock.  Frankly, I have not see and overspray directly hitting those parts of my land in active use.  I would suggest that you gently open up a conversation.  Do not expect him to change, but there may be room for adjustment.
 
pollinator
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You could ask for a spraying schedule much of what is being sprayed probably isn't pesticide. But I'm with those who say move.
 
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