The monarch butterfly is imperiled by the loss of food and habitat as well as climate change but an expansion in its winter hibernation area was "a sign of recovery — albeit a fragile one," WWF said in an annual survey.
The orange-and-black monarch butterfly, known for its 3,000-mile migration across North America and its plunging population, meets the criteria for listing as a threatened or endangered species, said the Interior Department on Tuesday. But it will be listed only as a candidate for federal protection because "we must focus resources on our higher-priority listing actions," said Fish and Wildlife Service director Aurelia Skipwith.
The herbicide dicamba is too risky to use on row crops such as soybeans and cotton until independent research shows it won't evaporate and harm nearby crops and plants, said a report from three conservation and environmental groups on Wednesday. Dicamba is blamed for "off-target" damage on millions of acres of property, and the EPA is considering possible rules for its use on crops in the future.
Glyphosate, the most widely used herbicide in the world, poses no threat to human health when used as directed and is unlikely to cause cancer, said the EPA in an interim decision on Thursday. Environmental groups denounced the decision as faulty.
In a bellwether trial, a federal jury found Monsanto liable for causing blood cancer in a man who used its Roundup weedkiller, and awarded the man, Edwin Hardeman, more than $80 million in damages, said The Recorder.
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.
Nearly 30 million Americans in 28 states “have some level of atrazine in their tap water,” says the Environmental Working Group in a report on the second-most widely used weedkiller in the country.
Many states have reported significant complaints from farmers about dicamba damage to their crops and plants, said an association of state pesticide regulators in calling for the EPA to tighten its rules on use of the weedkiller.
“Off-target” herbicides are creating tremendous discord in farm country, writes weed scientist Ford Baldwin in an essay for Delta Farm Press, adding that “dicamba technology has been the most divisive of my career.”
State agriculture commissioner Doug Goehring announced “North Dakota-specific” rules on use of the weedkiller dicamba on GE soybeans in the new crop year. They include a ban on spraying when temperatures top 85 degrees and a total cutoff of dicamba use after June 30.
Spurred by nearly 1,000 complaints of crop damage from dicamba this summer, the Arkansas State Plant Board has proposed a ban on using the weedkiller on cotton and soybeans from April 16 to Oct. 31 — effectively the entire growing season. The EPA also is considering restrictions on the use of dicamba, which was touted as a new tool against invasive weeds resistant to other herbicides but has also been blamed for damaging more than 3 million acres of soybeans nationwide.
The Arkansas State Plant Board, which is scheduled to decide today whether to limit use of the weedkiller dicamba in 2018, is getting advice that ranges from a letter that suggests permitting use of the herbicide as late as May 25 to a petition against any limits at all, says broadcaster KARK. A task force convened at the direction of Gov. Asa Hutchinson has recommended an April 15 cutoff for using dicamba on cotton and soybeans in the state next year.
When the Arkansas state officials banned use of the weedkiller dicamba on corn and soybeans for the rest of this growing season, it was the latest roadblock in the search for an alternative to glyphosate, which is losing its effectiveness against some invasive weeds. A little over two years ago, when farm groups told the EPA that growers needed "new technology to address the weed control challenges on U.S. farms now," they meant Dow's combination of glyphosate and 2,4-D, not dicamba.
For years, scientists have warned that male sperm counts are dropping around the world, but critics — chemical companies included — have questioned the data. But now, the largest, most rigorous study to date shows sperm counts are down by nearly 59.3 percent in North America, Europe, New Zealand and Australia, while sperm concentration has dropped by 52 percent overall over almost 40 years. This time, even many skeptics are convinced.
After shutting down row-crop use of dicamba for the rest of this growing season, Arkansas has appointed a 21-member task force to look for a long-term solution to the nearly 900 complaints about the herbicide this year. "The task force will attempt to reach consensus on a set of recommendations for the use of dicamba products n Arkansas as quickly as possible in order to provide certainty for the 2018 growing season," said the state Agriculture Department.
A University of Missouri weed specialist says the weedkiller dicamba has damaged more than 2.5 million acres of cropland this year, mostly in the Midwest and South, reports Harvest Public Media. The researcher, Kevin Bradley, says, “I don’t know that we’ve ever in our agricultural history seen one active ingredient do so much damage across one nation like that.”
Faced with rising complaints about misuse of the weedkiller dicamba, the Arkansas state plant board voted to temporarily prohibit farmers from spraying the herbicide on soybean and cotton crops. The board has received more than 240 complaints of crop damage caused by dicamba drifting from neighboring fields.
Due to a procedural error on Tuesday, the Arkansas state plant board will re-vote on Friday on whether to temporarily ban use of the weedkiller dicamba, suspected of drifting out of cotton and soybean fields to damage neighboring crops, reported DTN. Some 167 complaints alleging misuse of the herbicide, mostly along the eastern edge of Arkansas, were filed with the state board as of midday Wednesday.
Faced with 97 complaints of misuse of the weed killer dicamba, the Arkansas state plant board is set to vote today on whether to ban the sale and use of the herbicide on cotton and soybeans for the rest of the growing season, reported DTN.