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Neighbors upset hemp growers used helicopter to spray field in Medford

Owners said they were doing an annual spray to take care of their hemp plants and get rid of cabbage moths.

Posted: Aug 23, 2019 6:30 PM

MEDFORD, Ore. -- Neighbors are upset hemp growers are spraying their farm just feet away from their backyards.

RDSP Farms started three years ago at only three acres. Surrounding the farm is a residential area, so Friday morning when they were spraying crops with a helicopter, there was a lot of concern expressed by nearby neighbors.

Dylan Steeves is the co-owner of RDSP Farms. He said they were doing an annual spray to take care of their hemp plants and get rid of cabbage moths.

"The moths will actually lay eggs and lay a worm inside and munch on the bud and create field mold," Steeves said. 

Steeves said they tried to do it before anyone was awake, so nobody would be alarmed. Watch the video above to see how loud the helicopter was. Neighbors up the sound around 8 a.m.

Most neighbors NewsWatch12 spoke with Friday said they don't mind living next door to a hemp farm. Angela Lane's house backs up to the hemp farm and she said they're great, respectful neighbors.

Others told NewsWatch12 they didn't appreciate the early morning wake up call and they were more concerned about what was being sprayed in the air and near their homes.

"100% non-toxic. I mean me and my whole crew were out there uncovered, so there's nothing to worry about for that," Steeves said. "If you're in the West Medford area, don't be alarmed and don't be concerned."

Steeves said the spray won't harm anyone, except the moths when they land on the hemp and take a bite. RDSP workers said doing it by airplane was much easier and even safer for the plants.

"If you were walking through with a sprayer or even a backpack, you run the risk of breaking branches and all of that," Steeves said. "So not only was this beneficial for the wallet, but it was actually for the plant as well."

RDSP property grew from three acres to 80 acres in just three years. Steeves said without the helicopter, it would have taken crews about a month to spray everything on their own. 

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