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Drift catchers use citizen science to fight pesticide pollution
Laura Krouse, who for 25 years has run the 72-acre Abbe Hills Farm in Mt. Vernon, Iowa, is a drift catcher, a toughened breed of farmers who are taking matters concerning the threats of agricultural chemicals into their own hands. She is among 20 Iowa farmers who last winter trained with the California-based Pesticide Action Network (PAN) to use the air monitoring technology PAN specifically designed for laymen. Back home, the farmers took air samples during spraying times throughout this past season.
“We know we have drift, but how much is unknown,” Krouse says. “I’m measuring because I want to know, and if we find it, I’m saying keep your poison off my farm and out of my air.”