New dicamba herbicide formulations in conjunction with dicamba-tolerant soybean seed has provided good weed control for farmers. But the volatility of the herbicide has created havoc and a class action lawsuit is being developed—not against farmers—but against the makers of the herbicide. Stu Ellis has this exclusive report.
St. Louis Attorney Don Downing contends the dicamba herbicide and seed system was sold before it was market-ready…
Monsanto was warned, as everybody understood in the farm community, that if you commercialize the seed, that is tolerant to Dicamba, in all likelihood, many farmers were going to be spraying older versions of dicamba over the top and those spraying would clearly move off target and damage neighboring crop and that is exactly what happened in 2015 and 2016. Then in 2017 there were some registered herbicides that were promoted as you could spray over the top. But what that did was only increase the number of complaints nationally. There were approximately 3,000 off target complaints in 2017 alone, and those are only the people, who chose to report this to the state agencies. Many of the weed scientists with whom we’ve spoken say this is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of people that have actually suffered dicamba symptomology on their fields and yield loss. So that is what this litigation is about. We’re trying to recover compensation for all the soybean farmers and others in the country that have experienced some commercial loss as a result of dicamba damage on their crops.
Downing does not want to eliminate dicamba as a herbicide, only compensate victims of its volatility. That’s our report from the farm, I’m Stu Ellis with WCIA3 your local news leader.