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Wisconsin's booming grape crop at risk from herbicide drift

'I actually cried,' says farmer whose vineyard was hit

6:07 PM, Sep. 20, 2013
Ted Kearns, a grape grower near Platteville, holds two grape clusters in June. He said the smaller one had been impacted by herbicidal drift and that his crop would likely be impacted.
Ted Kearns, a grape grower near Platteville, holds two grape clusters in June. He said the smaller one had been impacted by herbicidal drift and that his crop would likely be impacted.
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Grape farmers in Wisconsin are facing a growing threat, and in many cases it is coming from their own neighbors.

Herbicides that are used to kill weeds in crops such as corn and soybeans can be deadly to other plants, including grapes. Food or wine grape vines exposed to the chemicals may shrivel up, turn colors and grow strange, elongated new leaves.

"It just becomes a bizarre, distorted structure," said Judy Reith-Rozelle, a consultant and horticulture researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. "The grape farmers are real worried." ...

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