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May 20, 2013



Hi Bertrand,
Another great post, thanks.
About your photo of the sprayer at work in the vineyard, there are more modern ones than this one, but certainly this type you show is very popular and very common in the vineyards of France. The vigneron here is not spraying weedkiller but is spraying against maybe disease or insect. These sprayers are very powerful and send out a great cloud of spray. Often they are not properly set/calibrated/used in a way to minimise spray drift. Now just think how this practice might affect the health of the vigneron, his workers and his family (who may live nearby) or the inhabitants of the nearest village. The vigneron in the photo has a cab on his tractor so (provided the air filters of the cab are installed and working properly and the windows of the cab are closed while he is spraying) he’s probably fairly well protected. But think of a birds-eye view of a village and its inhabitants surrounded by many hundreds of hectares of vines and think of all those vines being sprayed several times throughout the year, every year of their lives. And do you think that every vigneron always waits for a day with no wind or very light wind before spraying (to minimise spray drift)? He should do, but probably does not! And then how far does the spray drift? My point is, how does this practice of regular time-based spraying affect the health of everyone in the area? A lot of those chemicals are potentially harmful to human health. And I haven't even mentioned yet the effect on the wild-life. Makes you wonder …..
Sorry for rambling on …


Beautiful, educational post! Thank you!

Eric Martin

Bertrand, please keep asking your "naive" questions from outside the wine trade. If only more people asked such questions about many more topics.

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