Oct. 25: An Ill Wind for Grapes? Use of Herbicides in Diverse Agricultural Areas


Hebert-V-2013-80RICHLAND, Wash. – Grape vineyards in regions of mixed field crops historically have been exposed to herbicides, presumably from a combination of local spray drift and regional off-target movement.

A free, public presentation – “Ill Wind for Washington Grapes? Continuing Concern with the Use of Potent Broadleaf Herbicides in Diverse Agriculture,” by Vincent R. Hebert – will be at noon Friday, Oct. 25, in the Bioproducts, Sciences and Engineering Laboratory, Room 101, Washington State University Tri-Cities. BSEL is next to the greenhouses at 2720 Crimson Way, Richland.

“Widespread vineyard injury in the Yakima Valley was noticed soon after cereal growers in the Horse Heaven Hills adopted 2,4 D aerial application programs for weed control,” said Hebert, research director for the WSU Tri-Cities food and environmental quality laboratory (http://feql.wsu.edu/).

“Subsequent regulatory bans on ‘high drifting’ 2,4-D dust and highly volatile ester formulations reduced – but did not cure – grape vineyards from ill winds. Moreover, continued vineyard injury did not seem to correlate with local use of these products. So where were the ill winds coming from?”

The seminar will highlight early WSU air pollution research that built the foundation for understanding plant symptomology and regional herbicide off-target movement. More recent WSU research will underscore the episodic nature of injury seen throughout the Yakima, Columbia River and Walla Walla valley grape-growing regions. Region-wide mitigation approaches will be presented.

The event is part of the Joint Engineering and Science Seminar (JESS) series, an interdisciplinary effort of the College of Arts and Sciences and the Office of Professional Programs at WSU Tri-Cities.

About the speaker

Hebert earned his Ph.D. in environmental chemistry from the Center of Environmental Science and Engineering at the University of Nevada. He is associate professor in entomology. He has a long-standing interest and professional involvement in understanding the environmental fate and transport of trace-level volatile and semi-volatile organics in air, water and land surfaces. His research focus is a region-wide residential air-monitoring program that assesses implications of off-target soil fumigant movement on public health.

About the faculty collaborators

Yonas Demissie received his Ph.D. in civil and environmental engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He came to WSU Tri-Cities in 2012 and can be reached at 509-372-7344 or y.demissie@tricity.wsu.edu.

Nikolaos Voulgarakis earned his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Crete in Greece. He joined WSU Tri-Cities in 2012 and can be reached at 509-372-7373 or nvoul@tricity.wsu.edu.

Learn more about WSU Tri-Cities — the most diverse campus in the WSU system — at http://www.tricity.wsu.edu.



Vince Hebert, Food & Environmental Quality Laboratory, WSU Tri-Cities, 509-372-7393, vhebert@tricity.wsu.edu

Melissa O’Neil Perdue, Marketing & Communications Manager, WSU Tri-Cities, 509-372-7319, cell/text 509-727-3094, moneil@tricity.wsu.edu