Pesticide Contamination: Exploring Solutions

Photo from the farm of UM alumnus, Casey Bailey, south of Fort Benton

Montana ranks second in the nation for the greatest number of acres in certified organic production. Organic farmers’ livelihoods are threatened by inadvertent pesticide contamination from airborne drift and in rain, irrigation water, and soil. Environmental Studies Professor Neva Hassanein is part of a top-notch team of researchers from around the nation who are exploring solutions.

The research team recently received funding for a planning grant from the USDA’s Organic Agriculture and Research and Extension Initiative (OREI), and the project is led by the Organic Center and Washington State University. The project will gather information on crop losses and specific pesticide residues that are the most problematic in contamination, and determine the research and education needs for a comprehensive plan to control pesticide contamination in organic crops across the supply chain.