* 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 (www.semissourian.com/story/2456331.html). 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.
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 www.facebook.com/bobdaiber2018/. The Springfield news conference will be available on Blue Room Stream.