Jury orders Monsanto, BASF to pay peach farmer $250 million in punitive damages

A federal jury determined that German agribusiness giants Bayer and BASF will have to pay $250 million in punitive damages to Bader Farms, the largest peach farm in Missouri, for damage caused by their dicamba-related products. The verdict comes at the end of a three-week trial of a case where Bader Farms alleges it is going out of business because of damage incurred by the companies' dicamba herbicides moving off of neighboring fields and harming their 1,000 acres of peach orchards. 

Missouri peach farmer testifies about alleged dicamba damage

In the early 2000s, Bader Farms was the largest peach farm in Missouri, with annual yields averaging about 160,000 bushels. Fifteen years later, yields had dropped by more than 90 percent. Bill Bader blames dicamba, and now he’s suing its makers for millions of dollars in damages.(No paywall)

Monsanto officials limited dicamba weedkiller testing, court testimony shows

Knowing federal regulators were paying attention to the new weedkiller's potential to contaminate other fields, Monsanto decided to “pull back” on testing to allow dicamba, according to testimony in the federal trial over the weedkiller. Bader Farms, the largest peach farm in the state, alleges that dicamba damaged their orchard.

Dicamba revisited: Will corn be the next herbicide debacle?

Dicamba-tolerant corn seeds aren’t available yet. But if the seeds reach the market, and tens of millions more acres are sprayed with dicamba, there’s good reason to expect a repeat of the soybean disaster, in which the highly volatile weedkiller drifted off-target and damaged 5 million acres of conventional soybeans and an untold number of other crops.(No paywall)

Dicamba has sparked a civil war in soybean country

The controversial weedkiller dicamba, which has wreaked havoc in soybean country over the last two years, is dividing communities and pitting neighbor against neighbor as the 2019 growing season gets underway. FERN's latest story, a radio piece produced with Reveal and the podcast Us & Them, takes listeners inside these divided communities in Arkansas.(No paywall)

Pigweed develops resistance to dicamba and 2,4-D

Researchers at Kansas State University have found pigweed that tolerates dicamba and 2,4-D, two herbicides that are often used to combat the invasive weed. Pigweed, or Palmer amaranth, is difficult for farmers to control, growing up to 10 feet tall and capable of producing 1 million seeds per plant.

Arkansas approves expanded dicamba use, dismissing scientific and public concerns

Arkansas regulators voted on Wednesday to relax restrictions on the controversial weedkiller dicamba, despite testimony from top scientists and scores of concerned citizens who urged them to reject the move in a public hearing. (No paywall)

Dicamba debacle spreads to bees

The weedkiller dicamba, which has spurred conflict in farm country because of its damage to non-GMO crops, has spread to beekeepers, who say the herbicide is depleting pollinator habitat and harming the bees, according to FERN's latest story produced in collaboration with Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting.

Court challenge to EPA approval of dicamba is dismissed as moot

A federal appeals court on the West Coast dismissed as moot a lawsuit by environmentalists to overturn the EPA's 2016 approval of the weedkiller dicamba. The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said the environmental groups could try again with a challenge to EPA's reapproval of the herbicide last November. (No paywall)