By Nicole Montesano • Staff Writer • 

Farmers detail harm feared from trail

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Comments

fir tree

What does Mary Starrett know about farming and "toxins"? Big fish in a little pond.

yamhillbilly2

Ben VanDyke has been farming “all my life” and being told the gravel strip once had a railroad. Sure seems like a very limited length of time that I guess sounds better as “all my life”. I guess it’s also OK to want to go on farming land that doesn’t belong to you, more convenient that way? I also love the argument that if a bike event is held with a lot of folks attending, there could be a huge field fire that would kill and hurt most of them. WOW! Watch out for that big patch of the sky that’s falling!

Shasta

Why is the location of the proposed trail any different than the two city parks in Yamhill and Carlton? Both owned by Vandyke families. Why is it ok to spray unlimited year round at will at those locations? They also border houses within city limits and city streets. Carlton Elementary school also borders a grass field. Can someone explain how the standards are somehow going to change once a trail in place. I'd suggest Starret visit Yamhill and Carlton one day and see for herself that the chemical and toxins concerns these farmers have are pretty short sighted.

Shasta

@yamhillbilly2
I thought the same thing about Mr Vandykes biking event inferno "people are going to die" comment. Does anyone take a comment like that seriously?
One is probably a thousand times more likely to die walking or biking on highway 47 than being trapped in flames using a bike path.

vanfarm

The biggest issue has to do with a new OSHA rule, which went into effect January 1st, that would prevent farmers from spraying anything within 150 feet when any person could be in the vicinity. That would make it very difficult to farm properly or efficiently along this trail.
The land this trail is on is zoned Exclusive Farm Use. As with the landfill expansion, if the county cannot prove that the trail would not have a significant impact on accepted farming practices, then it is against the law to build it.

vanfarm

@yamhillbilly2 and Shasta - have you guys ever witnessed a field fire during harvest time? They are absolutely frightening. The speed they move is incredible. If you add bikers and walkers, out in the middle of these farm fields with difficult access for emergency vehicles, it is a legitimate concern.

yamhillbilly2

Yes Mr VanDyke. From my home I look out over the entire valley and have watched fires burn in the fields many times. I have even called 911 to alert them to fires they had not had a report on yet. I agree a fire can move quickly under the right conditions, but the idea of trapping and injuring people is a pretty good stretch of the imagination. All I’m asking for is an explanation of how the trail truly affects your farming practices, not a bunch of far fetched hypothetical issues.

vanfarm

Yamhillbilly, some of these issues may only be hypotheticals, but they still have a real impact. Who's liable in case of a fire, or injury, or anything else? The farmer. Therefore, who must carry additional insurance in case any of these "hypotheticals" come to fruition? The farmer.
Do you think putting a public space out in the middle of farmland would lead to increased complaints against the farmers for spraying, because the general public typically doesn't really understand what accepted farming practices are? The ODA stated that they already get numerous "spray" complaints from the public. They must take the time to investigate these complaints. They farmer has to spend half a day defending themselves, showing detailed spray records, ect. And then, according to ODA, 90% of the cases show the farmer did everything by the book.
Not to mention the 150' spray buffer zone would basically decommission a good chunk of grass and hazelnut acres along the trail route. There is just a few examples for you.

Stella

Sell the land along the tracks back to the farmers and unlock the many miles of illegally gated/locked public roads in Yamhill County. Plenty of room to bike, walk, ride a horse or take a scenic drive, and the best part... these roads are County maintained.

Jim

Stella I totally agree with your statement. I lived in Heppner Oregon for a number of years and someone proposed a public trail from the Columbia River to Heppner on the abandoned railroad grade. The people up there have enough common sense to know what it would have done to farming practices up there. The right of way was sold to the local farmers and ranchers. If the people in this county want to hike,bike or ride horses there are thousands of acres of BLM and Forest Service ground a short distance away for them to use. Leave the farmers doing what they have been doing for hundreds of years. Why should the whole county pay for something that only benefits Yamhill and Carlton. Willamina,Sheridan,Amity,Dayton and Newberg have no skin in the game. If the wine industry wants to promote their products let them pay for it.

Stella

Well said Jim!

"If the wine industry wants to promote their products let them pay for it.
11:08 am - Tue, March 12 2019"

yamhillbilly2

Vanfarm.. I’m not asking this to be jerk, help me understand why the 150’ spray issues means you have to give up farming that land. It is difficult to understand how that stretch becomes unfarmable. Why is it so impossible to even attempt to work with some sort of schedule or alert system that can be worked out. It’s very disappointing to always hear only why something cannot be done rather than trying to work with others to mitigate the issues that might arise. The 150’ spray buffer seems to have little effect on the ability to have grass fields and hazelnut orchards all along the roads of Yamhill county. Why is this trail so threatening to your way of life?

vanfarm

yamhillbilly - there are already several variables that create a window for the farmer to get a spray completed, including wind and other weather, and calendar dates that allow certain products to be applied. I'm not a spray applicator, but I do know there are many things that must be taken into account.
Many times you have a very small window to complete the job. If there are people on the trail, you can't spray. If there are a lot of people using the trail at a particular time, you may be out of commission for quite some time.
A roadway is different because people are typically in cars, in which case the rules do not apply. Yes, you occasionally have pedestrians or bikers on a roadyway, at which time the farmers currently must cease their operations until those people pass.

yamhillbilly2

Thank you vanfarm for a reply. I understand the spraying along the trail would call for some adjustments on when the spraying could be done. I still have trouble understanding how the 150’ buffer “decommissions a good chunk of grass and hazelnut orchards along the trail”. It seems the land will still grow the crop you desire and spraying can be accomplished with some adjusting of timing. It still seems to me that the effect of the spray buffer is basically an inconvenience rather than making the land unfarmable. We all face inconviences in our daily lives. Both sides in this trail issue seem to have trouble even talking about it with each other. I went to one of the meetings of commissioners about the trail and it sure seemed to be lots of hate and judgement flying around the room. Thank you for your willingness to talk.

Lulu

"You have inherited this problem...it is time to let the folly of this project be the legacy of your predecessors." Wow!
Ben Van Dyke's remarkable comments, eloquent and impassioned, recall a long-ago era in which people actually used words worth remembering forever. Think of The Gettysburg Address. No "facilitate" or "implement" or tired, pompous, bureaucratic expressions such as "Let's wait until staff reviews it." I will rely on Ben Van Dyke's opinion.

yamhillbilly2

Vanfarm again I am not trying to be a jerk. I admit I am a supporter of the trail. I am genuinely trying to understand why the land along the trail “becomes unfarmable”, along with some of the far fetched hypotheticals brought up by the trail haters. You have stated the general public doesn’t understand acceptable farm practices. Help me understand. Why do anti trail folks come off as not willing to calmly discuss something with someone who has an oposing view. The trail haters have gone so far as to hire a lawyer to help them with presenting their arguments. Maybe it is time for them to hire an acting coach to help them to diminish their appearance of being a bunch of hysterical screamers, unwilling to listen to any point of view that doesn’t reinforce their mindset to stop the trail any way they can.

Jim

yamhiilbilly2 you don’t think the county didn’t have a lawyer at the meeting too?

yamhillbilly2

Thanks Jim I am most certainly aware the county council is a fixture at commissioner meetings. I guess you just simply missed the point of my comments.

vanfarm

yamhillbilly, I feel like this has been a calm discussion? Not sure why you keep saying we're "hysterical screamers." The 150' on each side of the trail essentially becomes un-farmable because it would be such a nuisance to manage that under all the rules and regulations that the farmers wouldn't have the time to deal with it. Either that, or they convert all their spraying to night-time. In either case, it's considered a "significant adverse impact" to the farms and therefore the trail does not pass the farm impact test.

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