The campaign reflects growing concern about the impacts of drift in this agricultural state. Drifting pesticides can undermine farmers’ ability to farm as they choose, jeopardize the state’s growing local food economy, and put the health of Iowa’s children at risk.
What we’re doing
We’re working with a growing coalition of Iowa farmers and rural residents to put state policies in place that ensure Iowa farmers’ rights to farm as they choose, and protect farmers, communities and local food systems from exposure to drifting pesticides.
Stronger policies on drift would also support small farmers contributing to Iowa's vibrant local food economy, protect the rural communities where they live, and move us toward a safer and more sustainable system of food and farming.
Our coalition is working with state legislators to introduce new laws to strengthen the system for reporting and investigating drift incidents, ensure farmers are adequately compensated for damaged crops, and set up a statewide system to track pesticide use.
Join one of our local events highlighting the stories of farmers affected by drift, and bringing experts and community members together to understand the on-the-ground realities of pesticide drift and its health and livelihood impacts.
If you’re an Iowa resident, you can contact your state legislator today to let them know you're concerned about how pesticide drift is harming Iowa farmers and rural residents. For updates on tour events and to find out what you can do to support the campaign, sign up for PAN's action alerts and GroundTruth blogs.
If you're an Iowan concerned about drift — or have been directly affected yourself — please join our drift email list for regular updates!
Want to learn more? Explore the sections below for more details on our Stop Drift in Iowa campaign.
Farmers growing fruits, vegetables, non-GMO crops and wine grapes have the most to lose. Herbicides drifting from a neighbor’s farm can wipe out an entire season’s worth of crops for these farmers. And organic farmers risk losing their certification.
Financial losses can be staggering, with hundreds of thousands of dollars on the line. With dramatic increases in the use of drift-prone herbicides on the horizon due to the recent approval of new GE crops, Iowa farmers are mobilizing to protect their right to farm.
Jordan Scheibel, a vegetable farmer from central Iowa, described his concerns:
Pesticides drifting from nearby fields is a very real problem for farmers in Iowa. These are not isolated incidents and no one is helped when they are swept under the rug or treated as collateral damage we have to overlook as an agricultural state. It’s a serious economic, public health and legal issue.
Alongside a coalition of farmers’ organizations led by the Iowa Farmers Union, we’re working with legislators in Des Moines to pass commonsense new laws that would:
- Improve reporting of pesticide drift incidents, making the reporting process easier for farmers and the data publicly available to support smart, evidence-based policies on drift.
- Speed up drift investigations, so farmers can be quickly assured if their crops are safe for sale and consumption, and — if not — can be swiftly compensated for their loss.
- Ensure farmers are adequately compensated in case of crop damage from pesticide drift. This decreases the likelihood that drift damage will put yet another farmer out of business.
- Establish statewide pesticide use reporting, granting farm families, health professionals, and policymakers access to data they need to protect themselves and their communities from pesticide exposure.
- Fact Sheet: Drift incident reporting
- Issue Brief: Pesticide Drift: In the air & in our communities
- Brochure: Protect Your Right to Farm: Pesticide Drift Response Guide
- Draft bills: Improved reporting & testing (House/Senate)
- Draft bills: Liability insurance bill (House/Senate)
- Petition for regulatory action on drift (IFU)
- Agency response (IDALS)
- Iowa Farmers Union (Key advocacy partner)
- Practical Farmers of Iowa (Education partner)
- Central Iowa Beekeepers Association
- Farm to Folk
- Iowa Environmental Health Association
- Iowa Public Health Association
- Women Food and Agriculture Network
Other drift resources
- Pesticide Drift Response & Compensation (Practical Farmers of Iowa - PFI)
- Illness linked to pesticide drift in 11 states (Environmental Health Perspectives)
- Pesticide Investigation & Enforcement Brochure (IDALS)
- Private Labs for Pesticide Residue Testing
- Secondhand Pesticides (PAN)
- Iowa sensitive crop map and list
For additional information about pesticide drift and PAN’s campaigns tackling this issue across the country, see our Stop Drift campaign page.