On Sunday morning at 7 a.m., I was awakened to a thunderous sound that seemed to be just outside my bedroom. It was a loud, mechanical noise that shook my windows. I looked out the window to see a helicopter spraying the avocado orchard just below me. Yes, once again, the farmer below me had decided that 7 a.m. on Sunday morning was the perfect time to spray his fields!
The thunderous noise continued for nearly three hours. I contacted the Ventura Police Department, but the operator said they had no jurisdiction and that it was probably a county issue.
I watched in amazement as the helicopter sprayed right next to the houses that bordered the field. He was approximately 20 feet above them. He then turned over both Foothill and Telegraph roads, with cars beneath him on several occasions. He did not seem to have any pattern that might have had less impact on the residents. He sprayed the field next to us a few times, then went off to another field, then came back again. He seemed to be able to make only three to five passes every time, which is why it took him so long.
Several questions occurred to me. Is the chemical he was spraying safe for humans and animals? Why was he spraying on a Sunday morning at 7 a.m.? How about Monday morning at 9 a.m. when more people are awake? Why not finish the field next to the residences first in an effort to have less impact? How many other families did he awaken?
The wind was 5 miles per hour out of the south\southwest, which was blowing slightly away from the residences. However, the spray was blown several dozen feet away from the orchard due to the rotors churning away. Is that safe? Is it the best way to manage this job?
— Doug Messner, Ventura