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)
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)
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 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)
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.
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)
The Arkansas State Plant Board voted to roll back restrictions on the drift-prone herbicide dicamba late last week, over the objections of a coalition of sustainable agriculture and conservation groups. The board denied, without a hearing, an organic farmer’s petition to uphold the restrictions.
A new investigation by FERN and Reveal, from the Center for Investigative Journalism, shows that the EPA "ignored scientists’ warnings and extensive research that showed dicamba would evaporate into the air and ruin crops miles away, according to documents obtained through public records requests and lawsuits. Instead, the EPA’s approval was based on studies by the companies that manufacture dicamba, which independent scientists say were seriously flawed." (No paywall)
After nearly 1,000 complaints from neighbors about damage from the weedkiller dicamba, the Arkansas State Plant Board banned use of the herbicide on soybeans and cotton during the growing season this year. Yet state officials still are receiving complaints about dicamba, especially in the northeastern corner of the state, near the Missouri border, says NPR's The Salt, and the state is looking for the culprits.