Spray drift accidents in the news

In Iowa, there were 413 reported pesticide misuse complaints, including pesticide drift spray drift, from 2010 to 2015. Most spray drift accidents don’t make the news. Here are the few incidents in recent years in Iowa and nearby states that did get some news coverage



Lauren Mills, “Drifting pesticides put neighboring farms at risk,” IowaWatch, October 8, 2016.

Benjamin Herrold, “Dicamba drift causes issues,” Iowa Farmer Today, August 11, 2016,

Joey Aguirre, “DNR investigating fish kill near Mediapolis,”The Hawk Eye, August 3, 2016.

Sarah Tisinger, “Second southeast Iowa fish kill in a week likely caused by crop spraying,”  WQAD, August 3, 2016.

Associated Press, “Second Iowa fish kill in a week investigated,” Des Moines Register, August 3, 2016.

“Residents hit by crop duster spray told not to eat garden vegetables,”KCCI, July 30, 2016.

Tory Brecht, “Crop duster accidentally sprays Eastern Iowa suburban neighborhood with herbicide,” WQAD, July 27, 2016.

Lee Hermiston, “Herbicide accidentally sprayed on Marion neighborhood,”The Gazette, July 27, 2016.

Lauren Mills, “Long term pesticide effects hard to determine, experts say,”IowaWatch, July 25, 2016.

Paul Hammel, “Growers fight to protect their crops from the destructive effects of chemical drift,” World-Herald Bureau (Nebraska), March 28, 2016.


Sarah Tisinger, “Pilot dies in Iowa crop dusting plant crash, 300 gallons of pesticide soak into soil,” WQAD, July 30, 2016.

Dylan Peers McCoy, “Crop duster spray hits teens working in field,” Lafayette Journal and Courier (Indiana), July 16, 2015.

Reid Chandler, “Iowa farmers calling or reform on pesticide drift response,” WHO-TV, January 21, 2015.

Clare Howard, “Farmer links dead calves and tainted silage to pesticide drift,” Community Word (Illinois),  July 30, 2015.

Mary Ellen Kustin et. al, “Fields of drift: GMO weed killer exposure on playing fields and parks,”  AgMag, July 21, 2015.


Steve Kranowski, “Pesticide drift a persistent problem for organic farmers,” Des Moines Register, September 6, 2014. 

Aaron Brilbeck, “Kids May Have Been Sprayed with Chemicals While Detasseling Corn,” WHO-TV, August 1, 2014.


“Pesticide drift threatens Midwestern vineyards,”Harvest Public Media, October 31, 2013.
Lori Rotenberk, “Drift catchers use citizen science to fight pesticide pollution,” Grist, October 16, 2013.


Nicholas Bergen, “Alliant apologizes for chemical spray: Lee county residents upset over contractor spraying herbicide,” August 16, 2010, The Hawk Eye (accessed via LexisNexis)
Associated Press, “Ambulance with Iowa crop duster victim gets sprayed too,” TwinCities.com, July 27, 2010.


Associated Press, “Crop duster company’s license suspended, hearing set,” Waterloo Courier, August 7, 2007.


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