Thoughts and opinions - commercial corn field next to my property

I would like to see what the general consensus is for a planting/harvesting dilemma. I have just over an acre lot. The house is at the front on a street with others but at the very back of the property is a huge 300 acre corn field and I see them spray (who knows what). I am increasing my herbs in variety and numbers for medicinal and culinary use. I have a small privacy fenced back yard where my raised beds are located. I do not have enough room in them because I want the bigger one (4X16) to be for veges. Most of the herbs will reseed themselves or not die (zone 8B) and need more room. Adding beds is not in the budget right now nor are more containers & soil. My daughter is adamant that I not plant outside the back yard because of the spraying. I'm not sure that inside the fenced area is any better lol. Thoughts?


  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,519 admin
    edited February 2020

    In Canada, a buffer zone for an organic crop is 8 metres+. In the US, a common standard to start with is 50'.

    My thoughts are that within these parameters, I would consider them contaminated. A fence will not sufficiently stop spray. Trees (actually thick, low growth) can buffer it somewhat, but the particles are small and easily float. If there is wind, drift carries further. If the farmers booms are high, the same will happen. Spray carries a very long way. Even if you are in an area where there is no actual physical spray damage, but you can smell it, it is there. I have very little edibles planted in the exposed areas (our front yard). But, even with bush all around the rest, when spraying happens, it gets everywhere and on everything. 😕 I still plant behind the house (all the other sides have bush). We have just under 3 acres, with bush being mainly on the farmer's land.

    For me, spraying is a sore spot as we live in a heavily sprayed area, with both ground and aerial spray applications happening.

    In the end, where you plant is up to you. Consider the risks and distances and what you feel you can live with.

    Both my mom & MIL thought I should plant a garden in the front yard. I said nope! Good thing too...a year later, the spray increased and damaged trees & shrubs there. That would have been a lot of work for nothing.

  • @Laurie thank you! The area I would be planting in is well beyond the 50 feet, and in the "spray area" is also where our HOOT septic is so no planting there anyway lol. I have never seen them use a high boom, in fact it's lower than I've seen in other places. That was kind of my thinking about the distance...I actually have some stuff planted out of the yard but behind the garage (separate from the house). I have a fig tree, goji berry, comfrey, yarrow, and a few others. I was going to add to that area. Sorry the spray got your plants and is so close, that is so frustrating to have no control over it.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,519 admin

    @seeker.nancy I am glad that I could help. It is frustrating to have it so close. Winter has now become my favorite season because the air is so much cleaner.