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Pesticide Data

The only reason we have the pests that we do is because of the way we operate. So if we can change the way that we do things, our problems will go away.

Dr. David Headrick, Cal Poly Crop Sciences Professor

Kern second to Fresno for pesticide usage by pounds

The data collected for this chart in 1995 reveals that Kern County is the second in California for active ingredients in pesticide usage by pounds. Active ingredients in pesticides are often times the ingredients that harmfully affect the environment, animals and people. High pesticide usage in areas like Kern County build up immunity in plants to the pesticides. This requires harsher chemicals and more pounds used over time to control pests and maintain productivity. Source: California Department of Pesticide Regulation

Pesticide Pounds

Effects of Pesticide Application in Kern County

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in California, 27 farmworkers reported symptoms related to a single pesticide application on May 12, 2005. The CDC reported:

On May 12 at 7 a.m., a commercial pesticideĀ application team was spraying in a citrus orchard to control thrip, a small insect that feeds on oranges. The pesticide solution contained 32 ounces of cyfluthrin (pyrethroid, EPA toxicity category I), 84 ounces of spinosad (EPA toxicity category III), 18.5 gallons of petroleum oil (EPA toxicity category III), and 1,800 gallons of water. The pesticide was sprayed from three enclosed ground rig applicator tractors that traveled up and down rows and turned around on a dirt road that borders the field. In a neighboring grape vineyard southeast of the pesticide application, 27 farmworkers (23 female) were suckering (i.e., pruning unwanted shoots), lifting, and tying grape vines. Although employers are required by CDPR to notify their workers when they are within a quarter mile of cyfluthrin application, notification of farmworkers in the neighboring vineyard was not required because they worked for a different employer.

The following chart shows the reported symptoms from the affected 27 farmworkers.

Pesticides are used all over this place. It has become part of our life.

Juan Carlos, Farm Laborer

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