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Arkansas Plant Board Proposes Emergency Ban on Dicamba

WASHINGTON, June 23, 2017 - The Arkansas State Plant Board voted today to recommend an emergency ban on in-crop dicamba use, as grower complaints of drift damage continued to swell.

The ASPB vote taken this morning “is the first step in the process of establishing an emergency rule,” ASPB said. It will now be reviewed by Gov. Asa Hutchinson before being submitted to the executive subcommittee of the Arkansas Legislative Council for approval.

The proposal contains an exemption for pastureland and would also expedite regulations to increase civil penalties for dicamba misuse, ASPB said.

The governor “has followed this issue closely and previously tasked (Agriculture) Secretary Wes Ward and ASPB Director (Terry) Walker with visiting farmers in areas with heavy dicamba damage,” the board said. “Governor Hutchinson will be conducting a thorough review of the proposed rule as soon as possible.”

Dicamba misuse complaints lodged with the state have reached 242 as of today, according to a state website tracking the issue. Complaints have come in from 19 counties, mostly in the eastern part of the state. BASF’s Engenia is the only dicamba formulation allowed to be used on Arkansas crops.

The board appeared to have approved an emergency ban earlier this week, but confusion over how many members called in to vote forced today’s revote.

Written by Steve Davies for Agri-Pulse Communications.

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