Monsanto ‘Dicamba Summit’ Reportedly Causing Consternation in Ag Science Community

Monsanto ‘Dicamba Summit’ Reportedly Causing Consternation in Ag Science Community

According to the St. Louis Business Journal, some scientists — including widely respected University of Missouri professor Kevin Bradley — reportedly are declining to attend a summit to be held this week by Monsanto Co. to present information on its dicamba herbicide.

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Monsanto faces complaints from farmers alleging dicamba herbicides drifted to neighboring fields and damaged crops. The company plans to present data at the summit in St. Louis that its says will show user error was behind the damage, Reuters reports.

Weed scientist from states including Arkansas and Missouri are skipping the summit due to concerns about Monsanto’s response to the complaints of damage, Reuters reports. Kevin Bradley, a University of Missouri plant sciences professor who has tracked crop damage from dicamba sprayings, told Reuters he believes Monsanto is not willing to discuss volatization and that he will not be attending the summit.

Scott Partridge, Monsanto’s vice president of global strategy, told Reuters that the summit will be the largest meeting so far on dicamba and that at least half of the 60 people invited plan to attend.

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Dan Keep says:

Refusing to engage with Monsanto will not solve the problem.

Roger says:

Dan, the PROBLEM is Monsanto’s intention to blame others for a defective product that they released just so that they could sell more dicamba tolerant soybean seed. Many farmers are now going to buy Monsanto’s dicamba tolerant soybean seed as a defensive measure. That is not good for anyone except Monsanto. Monsanto has no intentions of solving any problems. Dealers should boycott these new forms of dicamba. There is no way to win if you are an applicator of these products.

Miles says:

Is that really the issue though? I wonder if some of the problems were caused by people buying the old, cheap generic Banvel, which is known to have major volatility issues. I’m not saying that is the cause, but it is something I am curious about.

Sidenote: If it is caused by generics, Monsanto did a poor job of educating people on the new dicamba, but also is partially at fault because they put a premium on old chemistry.

Andy says:

Miles – I bet some folks did apply Banvel, which could have caused some of the cases, but Xtendimax still has major volatilization issues too. Any dicamba product will have bad volatility even if the formulation decreases it a little bit.

Daniel says:

Minimum volatility does NOT mean no volatility! What amazes me is that we have not heard any discussion on temperatures and humidity. Certain plants can vary in sensitivity to dicamba and it doesn’t take much to damage that particular plant. Soybeans are one of those plants. So if someone uses dicamba in high temperatures, its going to volatilize even though less than original dicamba products. To a certain degree, dicamba is dicamba. New products are less volatile, but what is less when it comes to high temperatures and sensitive plants?