Rural report with Laird Smith

Wally Smith was keen observer of all events occurring in his orchard. He was well aware of cause and effect. He watched while DDT eradicated all pests in his orchard. It wasn’t long though before he noticed that all was not well with DDT. The birds nesting in the orchard were dieing after the spray was applied. The most common birds nesting were king birds, robins, blue birds, and humming birds. As soon as Malathion came on the market during the 1950’s, Wally stopped using DDT and the birds in his orchard were better for it.

From the investigation I’ve done on DDT, the USA banned it in 1972 and Canada banned it in 1985. It took the governments a long time to catch up to Wally’s decision.

You might say that Malathion is just as bad, but it did not kill to the same degree as DDT. And why did Wally use insecticides anyway? Because people didn’t want to eat wormy and insect scarred fruit. Malathion was the best way to guarantee good quality fruit.

Have you ever eaten a cherry with half a worm in it? You know where the other half went, and it doesn’t make you feel all that good knowing that you ate a little extra protein. Did the pesticide miss that cherry or did the tree get any spray?

With cherries you could go the non pesticide route, where you destroy your crop for two years thereby eliminating the pest. But who is to say your tree won’t get re-infected? As well, how can you expect a cherry farmer with more than an acre of cherries to go without a crop for two years?

Wally used pesticides in his day, we use pesticides today, and our children will use pesticides tomorrow. If we want defect free tree fruit, pesticides are here to stay.

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