How to keep Ohio’s specialty crops safe from herbicide drift

Ohio’s corn and soybean growers could soon be spraying a lot more of two powerful herbicides on their fields.

That’s why scientists with CFAES are offering research-based tips on how to keep those herbicides from getting onto other crops, especially valuable specialty crops such as grapes.

Doug Doohan and Roger Downer are the authors of “Reducing 2,4-D and Dicamba Drift Risk to Fruits, Vegetables and Landscape Plants,” a new fact sheet covering how herbicide sprays can drift onto nontarget fields, possible concerns about the herbicides 2,4-D and dicamba, and how to prevent unwanted damage to crops. Both scientists are based at OARDC in Wooster.

2,4-D and dicamba are the cornerstones of two new proposed weed control systems: Dow AgroSciences’ 2,4-D-based Enlist Weed Control System for genetically modified (GM) corn and soybeans; and Monsanto’s dicamba-based Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System for GM soybeans.

Both new systems were developed because more and more weeds have grown resistant to glyphosate alone.

And while both systems are still awaiting regulatory approval, Doohan said, they’re “likely to be used much more extensively and intensively throughout the Midwest, starting in the near future.”

“Creating a heightened awareness of Ohio’s specialty crop industry is probably the most important way to reduce the risk of future herbicide damage.”—Doug Doohan

… while showing what they mean to the state

  • Doohan said the fact sheet also is intended to raise awareness of Ohio’s specialty crops, which include not just grapes but apples, berries, peaches, herbs, hops, pumpkins, tomatoes and nursery-grown trees, to name a few.
  • Raising that awareness, he said, is “probably the most important way to reduce the risk of future herbicide damage and the lawsuits that sometimes follow.”
  • To contact the scientists: Doug Doohan at; Roger Downer at

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