Monsanto’s Fraley Addresses Dicamba Situation in Open Letter to Farmers

Monsanto Chief Technology Officer Robb Fraley — a man who has seemingly been at the center of Monsanto’s PR campaign in the wake of this summer’s unfortunate dicamba drift situation across the U.S. — has issued an open letter to farmers, asking them to work with Monsanto if they are seeing cupped leaves in the field and suspect dicamba drift as the culprit.


Full text of Fraley’s letter is below:

Monsanto's Fraley Addresses Dicamba Situation in Open Letter to Farmers

Illegal use of older, generic dicamba formulations “could approach 25% of applications.” –Robb Fraley, Monsanto Chief Technology Officer

Farmers are the heart and soul of our company. Our mission is to discover and develop innovative new products to help you achieve better harvests in a more environmentally sustainable way. Your success is our success, and we are committed to supporting you at every stage of the season — every year.

You told us you needed additional tools to combat tough-to-control weeds. We responded by developing Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybean and Roundup Ready XtendFlex cotton seeds that are tolerant to dicamba. We also developed a new dicamba formulation, XtendiMax with VaporGrip Technology, which has been proven to reduce the volatility potential of dicamba by 90% as compared to Clarity, and 99% as compared to Banvel and other DMA-based dicamba formulations. Working closely with states, we have trained thousands of farmers and professional applicators on how to use our products successfully.

We are hearing that the overwhelming majority of farmers are experiencing tremendous success during this first year of commercial launch. However, we have also heard reports that some farmers are noticing signs of leaf cupping in nearby soybean fields, which could be attributable to dicamba. Any time we hear reports of potential crop injury, from any cause, it concerns us.We know the passion, energy and financial resources you invest in your fields. Your crop is your livelihood, and you only get one shot a year. We understand.

We are taking these reports extremely seriously, and we want you to know what we’re doing about them.

First, we want you to know that we will be with you every step of the way this season. What caused the leaf cupping symptoms may not be readily apparent, as many factors can cause this type of symptomology. And in most cases, it is too early to know whether the leaf cupping will affect your crop yield. Right now, we ask that you contact us as soon as possible at 1–844-RRXTEND to report any leaf cupping or other symptomology you are seeing in your fields that you believe might be the result of off-target herbicide movement. Once we have your report, one of our agronomic specialists will contact you to arrange a time to meet you at your field and to review the symptomology together. We are working to respond to each report we receive from our farmer-customers and we will stand by you throughout the growing season.

Second, we have deployed scientists from The Climate Corporation, one of our subsidiaries, to review weather data from across the growing region this season to help understand whether unusual environmental conditions or weather patterns might have affected applications this season. We will analyze this data to glean insights to support our work in the field.

Finally, we will continue and expand our outreach, education and training efforts going into the 2018 season to ensure that you feel fully comfortable and confident in successfully using our products. We’ll continue to partner closely with our retailers, extension agents and individual customers to make sure you experience the full potential of this breakthrough technology.

I want to personally thank you for your business and partnership. We must earn your trust and your business each year, and we are committed to doing that by delivering the best-performing technology in the industry. We are also committed to ensuring that you have an outstanding experience with our products.

Please, if you are experiencing leaf cupping in soybeans or other unexpected symptomology, don’t wait. Please call us today and allow us to work with you throughout this season.


Robb Fraley
Chief Technology Officer

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Dear Farmers,
Children are the heart and soul of our families, our country’s success and our future as a human race. Our children need you to reduce their toxic burden, They are sick. 1 out of 2 children have a chronic illness in America today. Many studies have shown that the weakening of their immune system, auto immune diseases, food allergies, digestive issues, cancer, liver disease, birth defects and more, can all be caused by the harmful effects of pesticides. You have seen what DDT, PCBS, Agent Orange, Roundup and now Dicamba are doing to crops and to the health of your fellow citizens and around the world. It is time to stop trusting that Monsanto is offering your progress and start trusting that generations of American farmers knew what they were doing before Monsanto came along 40 years ago with these toxic chemicals. You do not need to be dependent on Monsanto’s high priced GMO seeds and chemicals.

I am writing to you to ask you to reconsider GMO chemical farming altogether and to switch to organic and regenerative agriculture. Citizens across the country have faith in our farmers, that you can farm, as has been done for thousands of years, without toxic chemicals. You can farm in a way that does not destroy the soil, increases water retention, stops drift damage, sequesters more carbon, eliminates toxins on food crops and in our water supply. It is time for chemical farming to end, the cycle of poisoning our land, water and families to end, and for a new regenerative era to begin.

We parents are begging you to do the research and look at the farmers who are already successfully farming with organic regenerative agriculture. The organic matter of their soil is higher, food is more nutritious, inputs are reduced, yield is the same if not better in many cases, and their profits are greater. In addition they can sleep at night knowing that they are contributing to keeping people with cancer alive with their organic food, and children from getting sick.

Is it more work? Yes. Will you make more money? Yes. Do Americans need jobs? Yes. Will the community help? Yes. Look at the WWOOF program. FREE labor. It works when you are committed to organic.

Please look up farmers like John Kempf of Advancing Eco Ag, Gabe Brown, Joel Salatin, Will Allen, Bob Streit, Howard Vlieger or contact Dr. Don Huber. They would be happy to share the tools they are using to transition your farm to organic regenerative farming and a healthy, prosperous future.

Thank you for considering.
I wish you a prosperous and healthy career and life.
Zen Honeycutt
Founder and Director, Moms Across America

Avatar for goldie6175 goldie6175 says:

Mr. Fraley — I would like to parrot what Zen Honeycutt wrote, and add a couple of other items. We all know that Monsanto, like all other for-profit companies have a responsibility to their shareholders and that responsibility is to make a profit. With the truth finally coming out, as we all knew it would eventually, you are going to need to do some damage control as I can’t imagine your stocks going up.
We have been asking you for years to restructure your business, to find a way to mitigate the damage your products have caused and to come up with a plan for more diversified, sustainable agricultural practices. You were originally a chemical company, now you would like us to believe that you have changed — (from your website) — “Growing More While Conserving Resources”, “Together We Feed the World and Protect the Planet”, and one of my favorites “Collaboration is at the heart of improving our world”. You are STILL a chemical company whose main product is a dangerous chemical, GLYPHOSATE. The molecule hasn’t changed, just as our genes haven’t changed. It is our environment that YOU have changed by continually saturating it with these chemicals over and over. Epigenetics is causing untold illnesses in all living populations, and we believe it is the saturation of these chemicals in our environment that is causing it. You can’t tell us otherwise.
And you are pretending to be concerned about the “cupping” on the leaves of the plants as if it only cosmetic? Farmers are losing their entire crops to Dicamba damage. Let’s make that perfectly clear. They don’t want pretty crops, they want healthy marketable crops. You are taking that away from them by ignoring the issue.
Our soil is being destroyed, and while we would agree that no-till farming does help with carbon sequestration, destroying all of the microbes in the soil, (6 billion per tablespoon), does far more damage because these microbes are the work horses that create the compounds and elements that our planet needs to survive. There is also a fungal network beneath our feet that has a communication system in place to stop disease and allow plants to build up defenses. Your chemical mono-cultural agricultural model is destroying that as well.
Oh, and please stop saying that you want to feed the growing populating. We have more than enough food to feed the planet. It’s not quantity that is the problem, it is logistics, and I don’t see Monsanto addressing that problem either.
You have a lot of really smart scientists are Monsanto. You can’t tell us that you aren’t aware of all of this and more. If you were REALLY smart you would be scrambling to 1)admit that you are wrong, and get that out of the way, and 2) start really COLLABORATING with the farmers that Zen Honeycutt mentioned and reverse the untold damage that your products and done to our planet.
People are sick because of your products. Our environment is sick because of your products. Our planet is suffering because of your products. It would seem to me that you would want MORE customers to buy your products instead of less, wouldn’t you? But the way are we heading you will certainly have a shrinking customer base. Seems to me to be a really unsustainable business model.

Avatar for Robert Bright Robert Bright says:

The unmitigated gall of this con-artist (Robert Fraley) is utterly remarkable! Even in the face of concrete evidence, even with the class action lawsuits piling up against his company (and other biotech/ agrochemical companies) he has the nerve to continue spreading this industry propaganda and misinformation. I’m afraid your time is up, Mr. Fraley. You’ve had every opportunity to fix this debacle and the greedy, profit-driven business model you have pursued. Your reputation is in tatters, and you STILL WON”T COME CLEAN!

Monsanto will be lucky to survive another year, and it’s executives will be lucky if they don’t face criminal charges for their personal behaviour and deceit.

Avatar for Charlie Wood Charlie Wood says:

Find the facts to solve problems is a most important part of customer service.