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2,4-D Drift on my vegetable garden #212842 - Ask Extension


2,4-D Drift on my vegetable garden #212842

Asked September 17, 2014, 1:44 AM EDT

adjacent land was sprayed with 2,4-D to control weeds. Wind carried smell to our property and smell remained for 48 + hours. I noticed tomato plant leaves began to turn brown and curl with two days. No other plants showed damage. Can I eat any of the vegetables? Or should I trash the entire garden? Should I remove all plant material to rid garden of 2,4_D for following year?

Lawrence County South Dakota

Expert Response

Technically speaking, you should not eat the tomatoes or other vegetables that might have been contaminated. Testing has not been done to determine how much of an herbicide like 2,4-D is safe to consume. We have had a lot of disease problems with tomatoes this year so the vines might have been killed by a disease rather than the spray. But, if this were the case, it is likely that some plants would still look better than others. Also, if it were an herbicide, I would expect to see damage on other plants besides the tomatoes, so it is possible that the herbicide was not the cause.  But, without chemical testing you cannot be sure.
David Graper Replied September 19, 2014, 9:05 AM EDT

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