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Lodi Pesticide Drift – Update

The Stockton-Record followed up on Wine Industry Insight’s article from last week on the pesticide drift near Lodi (Major Pesticide Drift Threatens Lodi-Area Vineyards) and turned up some valuable additional  information.

The article by Reed Fujii, Did pesticides hit vineyards? found determined that the Bouldin Island pesticide application was ordered by the close business partner of Delta Wetlands Properties  — Semitropic Water Storage District.

According to Fujii’s article, “Delta Wetlands and Semitropic are partners in a plan that would convert Bacon and Webb islands west of Stockton into open-water reservoirs, in wet years providing water for underground storage in Kern County, and also dedicate Bouldin and Holland islands to farming and wildlife habitat.”

While the need to wipe the island clear of weeds has long been part of the partnership’s written plan,  David Forkel, Delta Wetlands company general manager tried to distance the company from its close partner, calling  Semitropic a “tenant” which implies an arm-length relationship.

From Fujii’s article: ” ‘The spraying that was done there was done by our tenant for weed control,’ he said Thursday, identifying the tenant as Semitropic Water Storage District. Based in Wasco, Semitropic is the largest water storage agency in Kern County and serves nearly 300 agricultural customers, providing irrigation for about 140,000 acres.”