Crop Spraying Critical, Controversial

The late and often-wet growing season has complicated crop spraying for many area farmers. Producers, and the professional applicators they hire, have struggled to find enough favorable weather to spray.

It’s difficult to overstate the importance of spraying crops to protect them against weeds, bugs and disease. Without spraying, yields sag, potential profits disappear and the world becomes a little hungrier. Nonfarmers sometimes lose sight of that.

But there’s another aspect to it. No matter how careful farmers and hired applicators are, chemical drift from fields can hurt nearby vegetation, frustrating and angering nonfarmers.

It’s a complicated issue; I don’t pretend to have solutions or answers. But this much I know: there are two sides to it, and both sides need to recognize that.