A joint effort between the University of Missouri Fisher Delta Research Center and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources led to a record-breaking event in late May.
Nearly 29,700 pounds of chemicals were collected during MDNR’s first Pesticide Collection Program of the year.
“The department was excited about the opportunity to work with the Fisher Delta Center knowing they have a close connection with the local agriculture community,” MDNR officials said.
Farmers were able to bring in and dispose of several chemicals during the event, including pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, insecticides, rodenticides, fertilizers containing herbicides or pesticides and de-wormers and fly-tags.
“For the farmers that attended, it was an extremely easy process,” said Trent A. Haggard, director of the Fisher Delta Research Center. “Farmers loaded their trucks and trailers, showed up and we took it off their hands. No other questions were asked.”
MDNR officials said they collected chemicals from 37 farmers or households during the event.
“This solution was painless,” area farmer Joe Luye said.
The amount of chemical dropped off at the collection site was the most MDNR has gathered since they began the program in 2012.
“We believe this relationship will provide more opportunity for education and environmental stewardship in the surrounding area,” MDNR officials said.
Unloading chemicals in the appropriate manner is extremely important for not only farmers, but also the environment. Left unattended, those chemicals can contaminate drinking water or groundwater, streams, rivers and land. It can also cause health problems for individuals.
“The challenge is what to do with those chemicals around the farm,” Haggard said. “Stuff accumulates on almost every farm.”
That’s where MDNR comes in. Their collection events allow farmers the opportunity to get rid of unwanted chemical in a safe manner.
“I had a lot farmers thank us over and over for having it,” Haggard said. “We enjoyed the opportunity to partner with MDNR to provide a responsible option for farmers.”
MDNR collected more than 145,000 pounds of pesticide from 2012-14.
MDNR typically conducts four or five pesticide collection events a year throughout Missouri. They have two more events pesticide collection events this year in Owensville (Aug. 15) and Kirksville (Sept. 19).
“We hope to have the opportunity to provide additional collections in the Portageville area in the future,” MDNR officials said.