Herbicide spray drift can be as unhealthy for a producer’s wallet as it is for crops susceptible to unintended and unwanted applications.

Joe Armstrong, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension weed science specialist, points out that herbicide spray drift can do more than injure susceptible crops and cause prohibited residues in the harvested crops.

“Spray drift also can potentially damage shelterbelts, garden and ornamental plants, cause water pollution and even negatively affect generally non-susceptible crops if they are exposed during a vulnerable growth stage,” he said. “Drift also can result in non-uniform application in a field, which may lead to poor weed control and a waste of the producer’s time, energy and money invested.”

The risk of damage to non-target plants varies considerably among herbicides and among non-target plants.

Gary Strickland, Jackson County Extension director and agricultural educator, cautions that special consideration must be given to cotton in the southwestern area of Oklahoma.