Crop Damage Unacceptable, Says Soy Group Seeking Path Forward on Dicamba
The dicamba “issue” — widespread reports of crop damage from using the weedkiller — “isn’t going away. In fact, it’s only getting worse,” said Ron Moore, the American Soybean Association president and an Illinois farmer. “We are committed to establishing both a cause and a path forward … including what actions need to be taken to assure that soybean farmers can use the product safely without damaging their own or their neighbors’ crops.”
Arkansas state officials have proposed a ban on spraying dicamba on soybean and cotton crops from April 16 to October 31 next year, and EPA officials have said the agency is considering additional restrictions on how and when the chemical is used. Monsanto, which makes dicamba, says most of the reported damage is the fault of farmers and applicators, not its new, more drift-resistant formulation of the herbicide. Monsanto sells Xtend soybean and cotton strains genetically engineered to tolerate the weedkiller. Growers have embraced dicamba as a new tool against invasive weeds that are resistant to other herbicides.
The ASA is working with university researchers and ag chemical companies “to determine what went wrong and how we can more forward,” said Moore.
South Dakota state agriculture officials “are looking at possible label changes for spraying dicamba on Xtend soybeans next year, but a lot of that hinges on what farmers find in the fields this fall,” said the Duluth (Minnesota) News Tribune.