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Letter: Water waste and pesticide use in south Cowichan

I see fields being irrigated during hot, windy days (instead of at night)

Water waste and pesticide use in south Cowichan

As a previous resident and frequent visitor to the Shawnigan Lake/Cobble Hill/Mill Bay area, a place I love, I would like to comment on two things:

During recent summers, when folks worried enough about water shortages to organize conservation rallies, (in Duncan) encouraging everyone to only flush once a day and NEVER to water a lawn, it caused me concern for our farmers; because often in summer when walking Cameron-Taggart Road, I see fields being irrigated during hot, windy days (instead of at night), in the pouring rain and left on so long in one area that the soil can’t hold it all, creating enough runoff to actually flow in the ditch!

This year my concern was re-ignited when I was surprised and saddened to see that a product containing glyphosates (as in Round-Up and similar products) has probably been used on a large hay field — hay that’s fed to dairy cattle (we all drink the milk) and other farm animals. It’s widely accepted that glyphosates are harmful to humans, animals and the bees. Efficient equipment is most certainly available for tilling a field as required before it’s replanted. Would this prevent the necessity of using chemicals and the added benefit of not having to replant with GMO seed?

When too many of the rallying citizens become aware of what they would consider detrimental practices, it’s far more likely that the resulting duly-legislated regulations would be unreasonably stiff and probably written by people who don’t fully understand farming! An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

J. Klipper

North Saanich

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