NPR: Dicamba Damage Continues Spread in South

NPR: Dicamba Damage Continues Spread in South

Two weeks ago, in a remarkable move, the State Plant Board of Arkansas voted to ban the sale and use of a weedkiller called dicamba. It took that action after a wave of complaints about dicamba drifting into neighboring fields and damaging other crops, especially soybeans, writes NPR.org’s Dan Charles in the latest report on the ongoing dicamba drift situation.

Advertisement

That ban is still waiting to go into force. It requires approval from a committee of the state legislature, which will meet on Friday.

Estimates of dicamba’s damage, however, continue to increase. Since the Plant Board’s vote, the number of dicamba-related complaints in Arkansas has soared to 550. Reports of damage also are increasing in the neighboring states of Tennessee, Missouri and Mississippi. The total area of damaged soybean fields could reach 2 million acres.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Unofficial estimates making the rounds on #AgTwitter predict about 2.5 million acres of soybeans have been damaged already by off-target dicamba drift events throughout the Mid-South)

“I’ve never seen anything even close to this,” says Larry Steckel, a weed specialist at the University of Tennessee. “We have drift issues every year in a handful of fields, but I’ve never seen anything like this.”

Follow this link to read the rest of Charles’ dicamba update for NPR.