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Farm owner faces economic setback after county sprays pesticide on property

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Posted at 10:04 PM, Jul 11, 2014
and last updated 2014-07-12 00:04:23-04

DUCHESNE COUNTY, Utah -- A farm owner in Duchesne is furious with the county after they came through her property to spray for mosquitos.

According to Christina Kelsey, someone with Duchesne County’s mosquito abatement program entered her property on Thursday night and sprayed pesticide within feet of her crops.

“All of a sudden I noticed a smoky haze, right thick, coming over the one building,” said Kelsey, who runs Desert Springs Farms with her husband.

Two years ago, Kelsey informed the county she was a licensed bee keeper, running an apiary.  They agreed then, Kelsey said, to not spray her property. However, on Thursday, Kelsey said the driver was unaware.

“I just basically told him he was not allowed to spray, and he was totally confused and clueless,” Kelsey said.

Known for her pesticide free and organic products, Kelsey will be getting rid of the majority of what she intended to sell.

“This is far too close to my hives and now my bees will die, and my honey is tainted,” Kelsey said. “I won’t be able to sell eggs for three weeks.”

Of the four hives on the farm, one was showing no activity on Friday, and the 80 pounds of honey inside all of them will be thrown out.

“I don’t know what the full economic impact is yet,” Kelsey said. “We’ll have to see.”

FOX 13 News reached out to the county for comment. The offices for the mosquito abatement program were closed on Friday, and the county’s commissioners were all out of the office for a previously scheduled event.

While they have not had issues with the county in the past, Kelsey wants to prevent this from happening in the future.

“I'm sure, very likely, this was a simple accident,” Kelsey said. “But I am also a believer that accidents happen when you're not paying attention or you're not doing what you're supposed to be doing."