Arkansas Temporarily Bans the Sale and Use of Dicamba Herbicide


by Mike Barrett, Natural Society:
After hundreds of Arkansas farmers claimed their crops had been harmed by the weed-killer dicamba, which was sprayed on neighboring fields, the Arkansas Plant Board voted June 23, 2017, to impose an unprecedented ban on the herbicide.

David Hundley, who manages grain production for Ozark Mountain Poultry in the town of Bay, said:

“It’s fracturing the agricultural community. You either have to choose to be on the side of using the product, or on the side of being damaged by the product.”

Monsanto created dicamba-resistant soy beans and cotton plants several years ago, but the chemical itself wasn’t a practical option for farmers prior to that.

Dicamba killed the weeds threatening the crops, all while leaving the soybeans unharmed, and farmers thought they’d finally found the answer to a devastating weed called pigweed (Palmer amaranth). Out of desperation to beat back the weeds, some farmers started spraying dicamba illegally, before it was approved for use.

But dicamba drifts easily in the wind, and it can land on and damage other crops. Non-GMO soybeans are especially susceptible to it. The herbicide can also damage fruit and vegetable farms, and ornamental trees. Dicamba was great news for farmers of GMO crops, but a nightmare for farmers that plant non-GMO seeds. [1] [2]

Read: Study: Dicamba Herbicide Chemicals DO Harm Non-Targeted Plants and Insects

Bob Scott, a specialist on weeds with the University of Arkansas’ agricultural extension service, said:

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