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Missouri, Arkansas Ban Dicamba Use

WASHINGTON, July 7, 2017 - Continued complaints over crop damage due to drift have led to Missouri and Arkansas temporarily banning the sale and use of dicamba products.

“Missouri Director of Agriculture Chris Chinn has issued a Stop Sale, Use or Removal Order on all products labeled for agricultural use that contain dicamba in Missouri,” the state’s ag department said Friday, citing more than 130 drift complaints this year alleging thousands of acres of damage.

The order says the state “has probable cause to believe dicamba-containing pesticide products are being used in violation” of state regulations requiring adherence to the EPA label or state pesticide laws.

The state’s order applies to all formulations of the herbicide, including Monsanto’s Xtendimax, DuPont’s FeXapan, and BASF’s Engenia. In Arkansas, the ban applies to Engenia, the only formulation the state approved for over-the-top use this growing season.            

The Missouri order says that “older dicamba products are not labeled by (EPA) for in-crop post-emergent use in dicamba-tolerant cotton and soybean crops. EPA-approved labels for Xtendimax, Engenia and FeXapan warn all users to not apply the pesticide during a temperature inversion and to not allow the pesticide to drift onto desirable broadleaf vegetation because severe injury or destruction could result.”

“With only a small window left for application in this growing season, I understand the critical need to resolve this issue,” Chinn said. “I look forward to working with our farmers, researchers and industry partners to find an immediate solution.”

In Arkansas, the executive committee of the state’s Legislative Council allowed the proposed ban to move forward following a recommendation by the state’s Plant Board, which was then approved by Gov. Asa Hutchinson. The council is composed of a panel of state legislators.

The Associated Press reported that the executive committee took no action on the proposed ban, allowing it go into effect “unless a majority of the Legislative Council or its chairmen hold a meeting Monday to review the panel's decision.” Earlier in the week, the council approved an increase in fines for “egregious” dicamba misuse to $25,000.

Dicamba misuse complaints in that state totalled 596 in 23 counties as of today.

Written by Steve Davies for Agri-Pulse Communications.

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