Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Maybe those hippies have a point after all

  • Print


Send a Letter to the Editor

  • The Free Press welcomes letters from readers

    To send a letter for consideration on our Letters page: Fill out our online form at the link above, or Email, or Fax (204) 697-7412, or Mail Letters to the Editor, 1355 Mountain Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R2X 3B6.

Re: Pesticide ban's foes get louder (March 25). I must have spent too much time in the chemical shed, out on the sprayer or laying out on my front lawn, because my opinion on the proposed chemical ban has slowly been changing.

I am a city-dwelling pesticide salesman who farms a few hundred acres, and my initial reaction to the idea of a pesticide ban was pure outrage. Who in their right mind would want to get rid of the simplest and most cost-effective way of increasing yield and quality of the food that we eat? It must be my tree-loving hippie friends who enjoy smoking weed just as much as I love killing weeds in my garden and wheat fields.

I spend countless hours in a tractor cab watching the tractor drive itself, so I have sufficient time to spend deep in thought. One day after thoughts so deep that I nearly drowned, I decided to call one of my tree-loving hippie friends (the one who informed me that it was Roundup Ready pigs that caused swine flu). A comical conversation later, I had my first glimpse that perhaps limiting access to some pesticides may not be the worst thing in the world.

My friend, who had always been opposed to anything chemical -- be it malathion, pressure-treated lumber or, possibly, shampoo -- decided to try Roundup on his dandelions because he just couldn't keep up hand weeding. The Roundup did its job; it killed the dandelions, but it also killed the lawn around the flowers and his yard looked like a polka dotted golf green.

I had to muffle a laugh as I told him that he could borrow my backpack sprayer to attack the other weeds that had eluded him. When his yard had grown back, I offered him my backpack sprayer loaded with the good stuff that you can't find on the shelves of your local hardware store. He declined my offer and informed me that he was going to hire someone to manage the weeds in his lawn. That is when I realized that some regulations might not be a horrible idea.

When I hire someone to spray my fields on the farm, that person needs to have written his ground or aerial applicators licence test. This means that the person using the chemical has been trained to properly handle and apply these products to my field to prevent potential polka-dot patches.

Instead of getting rid of an amazing pest control tool, let's make application of it a little more controlled. It will cost more to pay someone who is trained to come and spray your weeds, but in the end it will prevent polka-dotted lawns, and if the chemical is properly used it will not need to be used nearly as often or in such large quantities.

Might not be a bad idea, but then again, I do enjoy the smell of 2,4-D.



Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 28, 2013 A15

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Mayor Bowman reacts to Caspian investigation

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Marc Gallant/Winnipeg Free Press. Local- Peregrine Falcon Recovery Project. Baby peregrine falcons. 21 days old. Three baby falcons. Born on ledge on roof of Radisson hotel on Portage Avenue. Project Coordinator Tracy Maconachie said that these are third generation falcons to call the hotel home. Maconachie banded the legs of the birds for future identification as seen on this adult bird swooping just metres above. June 16, 2004.
  • A golfer looks for his ball in a water trap at John Blumberg Golf Course Friday afternoon as geese and goslings run for safety- See Joe Bryksa’s 30 day goose challenge- Day 24– June 15, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos


Would you partake in tap rooms at local breweries?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google