Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Listen In, Lubbock: Local Grape Growers Take On Big Ag

Jayme Lozano / Texas Tech Public Media

The Texas high plains are characterized by drier weather and the ideal elevation for grape growing, but the land is farmed for a variety of crops. Recently, it’s become somewhat of a battle, as some crops thrive and others die. The culprit is speculated to be a certain type of weedkiller, known to vaporize in the Texas heat and drift for miles, landing on vulnerable, non-resistant plants and damaging them. The herbicide drift is compromising a large chunk of Texas’ wine grape growing and has resulted in a multi-million dollar lawsuit against two large agriculture companies.


Blair Sabol, KCBD reporter

Rob Avila, Texas Tech Public Media reporter

Helpful Links:

‘This is a horror story’; Concerns from local farmers over chemical drift prompts $560 million lawsuit, from Blair Sabol

Grape growers in Texas region sue over herbicide damage, from the AP

West Texas Vineyards Blasted By Herbicide Drift From Nearby Cotton Fields, from Merrit Kennedy/NPR

Lawsuit filed against Bayer-Monsanto and BASF

Texas High Plains Graper Growers vs. Bayer-Monsanto, BASF, In-depth FAQ

Special Report: The decisions behind Monsanto's weed-killer crisis, from Reuters 

Initial legal explanations of dicamba pesticide cases by Brigit Rollins, staff attorney for the National Agricultural Law Center at The University of Arkansas 

AP’s Emily Flitter’s reporting & Timeline on Monsanto’s Dicamba crisis 

State of dicamba in U.S. and Missouri 

Initial Bader Farms case court decision

Kaysie Ellingson is the former news director for Texas Tech Public Media. She came to Lubbock after living in Anchorage, Alaska, working as a documentary producer for Alaska Public Media. Prior to working in public media, Kaysie earned her master's degree in journalism from the University of Southern California with an emphasis in documentary production.
Related Content
  • Lubbock is called the capital of live music in Texas. So, what happens when the music stops? Last year when the pandemic made its way to the country,…
  • S2N3: Jafar Abdullah brought three books to read lakeside at his neighborhood park. The top about the history of Islam, the bottom about poverty. In the middle is “The New Jim Crow” by Michelle Alexander—a book that came highly recommended by one of Abdullah's mentors. The 2012 book equates the mass incarceration of Black Americans to a class system that can affect generations—an issue Abdullah thinks about often—especially when he’s working with kids through the mentorship program he started.