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Daiber says Illinois should join Missouri and Arkansas and ban dicamba

Friday, Jan 26, 2018 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Bob Daiber press release…

Illinois farmers harvested 611.9 million bushels of soybeans last year, which led the nation, and we had a 58-bushel yield, also No. 1 in the nation. At nearly $10 a bushel, this is a $6 billion industry. We are a soybean factory in Illinois. Soybeans are used in food, fed to livestock, and converted to biodiesel. Thousands of jobs are generated in the handling, transportation and processing of soybeans, and in the biodiesel industry. Soybeans are essential to the Illinois economy.

But the health of the soybean industry is threatened by the herbicide dicamba.

Bob Daiber, a Democratic candidate for governor and a small-time farmer himself, is urging Illinois, at the center of the soybean universe, to ban dicamba, either through legislation or regulation, before crop damage and insurance claims are rampant. The ban should last indefinitely, until problems with drift are resolved. Arkansas and Missouri already have banned the use of dicamba.

“Somebody has to look out for the long-term health and best interests of agri-business in Illinois,” Daiber said. “If we let this get out of hand, farmers will end up in a thicket of crop loss, insurance claims and litigation, none of which are good for business. If I should be honored to be elected governor, you’ll have someone in Springfield who knows about farming, and how a few pennies here or there, multiplied over thousands of acres, make a difference. But I will also be someone who wants to make sure we don’t kill the goose that lays the golden eggs, whether it’s regarding corn and beans, livestock or specialty crops.”

Daiber, in addition to his duties as regional superintendent of schools for Madison County, is a small-time farmer himself: He and his wife own 250 acres in four locations in Madison and Macoupin counties, and he personally farms 120 acres (corn and beans).

Dicamba kills plants – except for the soybean plants that are genetically modified to survive dicamba. But the trouble is, whether through misapplication or off-label use by farmers, or because of a design flaw in the product itself, dicamba drifts. It not only damages soybeans: A farmer in Pulaski County lost 40 acres of beans and 12 acres of grapes ( There are reports of oak trees damaged by drifting dicamba.

Dicamba has been used in the United States for 50 years, but starting with the 2017 crop year, it was approved for the first time to be sprayed on fields after the soybeans are already growing, instead of before they sprout. It’s a product farmers find attractive because some weeds have developed resistance to other herbicides.

Lawsuits and insurance claims are piling up. Farmers are having insurance claims against neighboring farmers denied, with the insurance companies claiming it is not the farmer who is to blame, but the product itself. The manufacturers – Monsanto, BASF and DuPont – are being sued.

Nationally, 3.6 million acres have been damaged – that’s 4 percent of the crop – and 2,708 claims are in process, including 245 in Illinois, according to the University of Missouri.

“There are herbicides on the market that don’t drift. Illinois farmers in this important crop sector should stick to those until that bugs are worked out of dicamba,” Daiber said.

* He got some decent media coverage…

* Governor candidate Bob Daiber calls for dicamba herbicide ban

* Gubernatorial Candidate Calls For Ban On Dicamba

* Democrat Daiber Pushes Dicamba Herbicide Ban For Illinois Farming: “We have to make a decision in this state whether we want billionaires to govern us. I believe that the best thing that could happen for all of Illinois, from Chicago to Cairo, is if an everyday working-class person like me became the next governor, (someone) who really understands how everyday people work and live,” Daiber said.

* Meanwhile…

Madison County regional superintendent of schools and Democratic candidate for governor, will address labor issues on Monday, Jan. 29 at news conferences in Wood River and Springfield.

Daiber, a teacher for 28 years, was a member of the Illinois Education Association, and served four years as president of his local at Triad H.S. in Troy.

Members of the media are invited and urged to attend. The Wood River news conference will be on Facebook at The Springfield news conference will be available on Blue Room Stream.


  1. - Rabid - Friday, Jan 26, 18 @ 5:31 am:

    ban the genetic plants that absorb dicamba and passes into our food chain,

  2. - Rabid - Friday, Jan 26, 18 @ 5:44 am:

    The poison stays airborne for two weeks, they changed the recipe for roundup, blaming farmers for improper application. Oak leafs curl and turn to lace

  3. - wordslinger - Friday, Jan 26, 18 @ 8:30 am:

    Points to Daiber for focusing on an important problem and proposing a solution. What a concept.

  4. - Anonymous - Friday, Jan 26, 18 @ 8:36 am:

    Where does he stand on pot and pensions?

  5. - m - Friday, Jan 26, 18 @ 9:02 am:

    All herbicides drift at varying levels. Roundup is one of the ones that drifts the least. After a decade or two of Roundup resistant crops, farmers and sprayers got spoiled by how little Roundup drifted, how they could spray on breezy days, and they often sprayed Dicamba just as they would’ve with Roundup. Add to that some misleading marketing about how the new Dicamba formulations had addressed drift, and you have a big mess.

    I don’t know that it should be banned, especially considering it is used in situations other than spraying on resistant crops, and there have been little to no issues with that.

    But the chemical companies need to be taken task on their “low-drift” formulas and farmers and applicators need to be smarter about this.

  6. - GreatPlainser - Friday, Jan 26, 18 @ 9:07 am:

    Daiber makes some wild assumptions on this issue. As with most hot topic things there are nuances to points not being considered by blanket statements in press releases. Ag was all over this issues late last summer and fall. It is curious to see Mr. Daiber become involved

  7. - theCardinal - Friday, Jan 26, 18 @ 9:20 am:

    what not ban the way they are spreading it?

  8. - Anon221 - Friday, Jan 26, 18 @ 9:27 am:

    GreatPlainser- Instead of being vague yourself, why don’t you point out these ‘wild assumptions” and educate us all on the facts as you see them. Otherwise you are just coming across as someone who hides under a bridge.

  9. - Last Bull Moose - Friday, Jan 26, 18 @ 10:05 am:

    I agree with having a ban. The risk to neighboring fields and forests is too high. The ban will free up court resources that will be spent in civil cases.

  10. - Cool Papa Bell - Friday, Jan 26, 18 @ 10:12 am:

    A ban is short sighted and needless. It’s no secret Dicamab has drift and volatilization problems. But mainly it’s a problem when used at certain times of the year and near sensitive crops. Dicamba has been around for decades and no one was calling for a ban (heck it wasn’t even a restricted use herbicide) until scientist developed dicamba resistant soybeans and the chemical could be sprayed on those beans without killing them.

    In 2017, 10 million acres of soybeans were planted in Illinois. And the Department of Agriculture fielded 239 complaints (as of late summer) about potential drift and off target movement of Dicamba. The U of I figures that about 500,000 acres were impacted. So 5% of all soybean acres in the state may have been impacted in the first year of using a new technology that will be critical for famers to continue to produce high yields and remain profitable.

    Lost in the hysteria is this, at times the damage caused was done by farmers or ag retailers not cleaning out spraying equipment in a proper manner – human error – not chemical

    Talking technology in ag and food is a hard thing to do on a message board, especially when the first comment is a slam on GMO seed technology.

    But the US has the world’s most abundant and safest food supply. Enjoy agriculture it every time you eat, get dressed in the morning and fill up your car.

  11. - illini - Friday, Jan 26, 18 @ 10:35 am:

    I am reminded of the fact that a U of I graduate student who, decades ago, developed a chemical that was very effective in keeping the weeds from the soybean fields.

    The military and Dow Chemical took this good research and turned it into Agent Orange. I have recently lost 2 HS classmates who were exposed in Vietnam and have a close friend that is suffering now.

    Good science gone bad.

  12. - huh - Friday, Jan 26, 18 @ 10:35 am:

    He’s right. He finally said something I will remember him for.

  13. - A guy - Friday, Jan 26, 18 @ 10:45 am:

    This gent proves he’s a smart and thoughtful guy who’s probably running for the wrong office.

  14. - Last Bull Moose - Friday, Jan 26, 18 @ 10:52 am:

    Dicamba drift will also speed the development of dicamba resistant weeds. A light dose of dicamba would be like stopping an antibiotic early. Resistant weeds are hurt but not killed and spread faster than their non-resistant fellows.

  15. - Cool Papa Bell - Friday, Jan 26, 18 @ 10:59 am:

    @Illini – sorry for the loss of your friends. But science can always be used in terrible and bad ways. Nuclear power and the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Japanese. NASA rocket technology and the threat of intercontinental ballistic missiles.

    And adding for clarification… Arkansas and Missouri aren’t banning the use of Dicamba, rather they are proposing to limit the time of the year the herbicide is to be sprayed.

    @Bull Moose - Dicamba has been used for decades already. The issue of resistance will always be a problem but not because of in season application over the top of soybeans. Mother Nature gonna Mother Nature!

  16. - Cool Papa Bell - Friday, Jan 26, 18 @ 11:10 am:

    @Illini – sorry for the loss of your friends. But science can always be used in terrible and bad ways. Nuclear power and the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Japanese. NASA rocket technology and the threat of intercontinental ballistic missiles.

    And adding for clarification… Arkansas and Missouri aren’t banning the use of Dicamba, rather they are proposing to limit the time of the year the herbicide is to be sprayed.

    And Bull – Dicamba has been around for years.
    In season over the top application of dicamba on soybeans will not in and of itself create resistance. After all Mother Nature Gonna Mother Nature.

  17. - Anon221 - Friday, Jan 26, 18 @ 11:10 am:

    A ban in AR is not a total ban on use, just in case anyone was thinking that way (or trying to insinuate it)-

    “Thirty-four states have approved dicamba for in-crop use without additional cutoff or temperature restrictions. Four of those states—North Dakota, Minnesota, Missouri and Tennessee—have approved in-crop use of dicamba with additional cutoff dates and/or temperature limits. Arkansas is the only state that will not allow its farmers to use dicamba in-crop. This ban will prohibit over-the-top-applications of dicamba on soybeans and cotton in Arkansas between April 16 and Oct. 13 of this year. The Administrative Rules and Regulations subcommittee approved the ban on Jan.16 and passed it along to the full Legislative Council.”

    key words to note-

    in-crop use
    over the top spraying

  18. - Anon221 - Friday, Jan 26, 18 @ 11:18 am:

    I agree with the steps AR and Mo have made. There is a need to do some serious third-party research on the drift for in-crop and over the top spraying. Based on some research done last year by universities, volitization of the new product may be very high and drift may be for miles and hours. Tank cleanout and application regs are being addressed in the trainings throughout the states. Take some time, though, and read the label. There are some really big Do Nots in it-

  19. - thechampaignlife - Friday, Jan 26, 18 @ 11:20 am:

    No need to ban it. Just make it easier to sue (and win) if your neighbor’s spray drifts onto your field and causes damage.

  20. - Anon221 - Friday, Jan 26, 18 @ 11:24 am:

    thechampaignlife- Not trying to sound Trumpian, but, believe me, it’s much much easier said than done. Big Ag lobbies would be all over that.

  21. - Blue dog dem - Friday, Jan 26, 18 @ 11:56 am:

    Starting to like this guy.

  22. - Cool Papa Bell - Friday, Jan 26, 18 @ 12:19 pm:

    @ Blue Dog… Why? Banning a useful chemical that parts of the biggest industry in Illinois uses to be profitable is a reason to vote for him?

  23. - Blue dog dem - Friday, Jan 26, 18 @ 12:35 pm:

    Cool. Taking on the Ag industry takes guts. I like that. And just because an industry uses a product, doesnt make it ok.

  24. - Cool Papa Bell - Friday, Jan 26, 18 @ 12:49 pm:

    Fair enough. I think this chemical has been used well by the industry and a one year knee jerk reaction might be picking the wrong fight.

    I would say that no other candidate knows (or had an idea before this) what dicamba is or how it’s used. So that can be seen as a small positive from my point of view.

  25. - Liandro - Friday, Jan 26, 18 @ 12:50 pm:

    “Points to Daiber for focusing on an important problem and proposing a solution. What a concept.”


  26. - West Side the Best Side - Friday, Jan 26, 18 @ 1:24 pm:

    Probably won’t be any responses from the guys who are running for governor of Chicagoland.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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