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Report: Dicamba damage highest in Illinois

Thursday, Aug 9, 2018

* Since the Illinois State kicks off today, I figured we’d do an agriculture post. I’ve written about this topic before (click here). From an article in Successful Farming

University weed scientists estimate at least 1.2% of U.S. soybean plantings have been damaged accidentally by the weedkiller dicamba despite stricter limits on its use this year, said a University of Missouri report. Damage was highest in Illinois, the No. 1 soybean-growing state, where 500,000 acres of the U.S. total of 1.1 million damaged acres are located.

The damage is way down across the country, but we’re now number one.

* Farm Week

The number of dicamba-related complaints reported to the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) is on the rise in the second year the herbicide is approved for use on tolerant soybeans, according to Jean Payne, president of Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association.

“We still are going to go over 300 formal complaints,” Payne told the RFD Radio Network®, referring to grievances that specifically allege dicamba damage. “And those 300 complaints that have been logged at the Illinois Department of Agriculture have taken our total pesticide-misuse complaints up over 450.”

Last year, IDOA fielded 430 total pesticide-misuse complaints, including 246 related to dicamba. Prior to 2017, the quantity of misuse complaints typically numbered between 100 and 120, Payne said.

“We saw widespread symptomology, and we can’t deny that it was there this year,” she said.

As if soybean farmers don’t have enough to deal with on the China trade fight.

* Modern Farmer

For some background: dicamba is not a particularly new pesticide, but Monsanto has recently made a huge push with new dicamba-resistant soybean seeds to go along with the pesticide. Unfortunately, the pesticide has a tendency to drift, sometimes miles away, and the areas it hits are not always treated to be resistant. In that case, dicamba shrivels and kills plants—millions of acres of soybean fields have been affected.

But dicamba’s effects on plants are not limited to soybeans. Reports last year indicated that dicamba was killing mature oak trees in Iowa, Illinois, and Tennessee. But Unglesbee’s feature goes further, interviewing many farmers, gardeners, and even hotel owners whose farms, forests, lakes, and fields have been hurt. They include a South Dakota farmer who grows hundreds of varieties of fruits and vegetables for a CSA and estimated he’s lost $11,000 due to dicamba; an Illinois homeowner whose garden was destroyed; and a Tennessee resort owner whose attempts to plant young trees and a small garden for his restaurant were foiled by dicamba.


Cupped up soybeans are one of the clearest indicators of dicamba exposure on beans not modified for the chemical.

“We’ve been drifted on and had about 65 acres of beans effected by volatility this year because neighbors used it,” said farmer Kelly Robertson.

* Illinois Newsroom

Farmers in a federal class-action lawsuit filed two main complaints this week against agro-chemical giants Monsanto and BASF regarding the herbicide dicamba, which is blamed for millions of acres of crop damage, especially to soybeans, over the last couple years.

The “master complaints,” filed in a U.S. district court in St. Louis, consolidate 11 complaints from farmers from Arkansas to South Dakota.

The lawsuit alleges Monsanto and BASF created dicamba-resistant crops knowing it would likely cause harm to other fields. It states that the companies not only knew about the risk, “but everything they did and failed to do increased that risk.” […]

The second complaint alleges that Monsanto is creating a monopoly off of dicamba-resistant plants.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Leigh John-Ella - Thursday, Aug 9, 18 @ 2:00 pm:

    “University weed scientists”

    Weren’t we all at some point?

  2. - Anonymous - Thursday, Aug 9, 18 @ 2:28 pm:

    Corporate monopolies will solve Planet Earths existence problem.


  3. - Last Bull Moose - Thursday, Aug 9, 18 @ 2:37 pm:

    This will not be the last herbicide with drift problems. State law may be able to make it easier to get damages.

  4. - JooleySchmooze - Thursday, Aug 9, 18 @ 2:45 pm:

    Dicamba drift and damage (shriveled leaves) does not automatically mean a reduction in yield. There are some pretty general statements in a few of these articles that lead the non-educated in a negative direction that may be entirely unnecessary.

  5. - Anon221 - Thursday, Aug 9, 18 @ 2:49 pm:

    This is from December , but is really interesting;)

  6. - Anon221 - Thursday, Aug 9, 18 @ 2:57 pm:

    It’s not posted yet, but on today’s River to River on Iowa Publuc Radio, there was a discussion on this issue.

    Also on the St Louis NPR station, this ran today-

  7. - Bruce (no not him) - Thursday, Aug 9, 18 @ 3:05 pm:

    Finally, something we’re No.1 in.

  8. - Bruce (no not him) - Thursday, Aug 9, 18 @ 3:08 pm:

    Oh,and by the way, they misspelled Madigan.
    “The second complaint alleges that Monsanto…”

  9. - @misterjayem - Thursday, Aug 9, 18 @ 3:17 pm:

    “Dicamba drift and damage (shriveled leaves) does not automatically mean a reduction in yield.”

    Good luck selling that mess south of I-80.

    – MrJM

  10. - Cable Line Beer Gardener - Thursday, Aug 9, 18 @ 4:25 pm:

    This gardener lost a perfectly good stand of malting barley due to drift….hops are also susceptible, so combined with drift and Japanese beetles they look paltry. If the applicators practiced what they were taught in the licensing classes the damage and complaints would go down.

  11. - Anon221 - Thursday, Aug 9, 18 @ 4:46 pm:

    Cable Line Beer Gardener- it’s entirely possible that even if the applicators followed all the requirements on the label and as taught at the winter meetings, there may still be drift. This is a product that volitizes and travels extremely well. Monsanto wants to blame the applicators, but it just might be their ( and now Bayer’s) product that is just too risky to use in its current formulation.

  12. - flea - Thursday, Aug 9, 18 @ 5:45 pm:

    This may be a function of the very best reporting and follow up system in the US…No kiddin.

  13. - wordslinger - Thursday, Aug 9, 18 @ 6:49 pm:

    –“Dicamba drift and damage (shriveled leaves) does not automatically mean a reduction in yield.”

    Good luck selling that mess south of I-80.–

    You read all the stories on the soy farmers buying the tariffs while they’re taking it up the tukkus? Blame it on Mexicans, Muslims or Chinese, and they’ll eat it right up.

    Much of rural America is stoned, immaculate, on the MAGA message.

  14. - JooleySchmooze - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 8:45 am:

    “Dicamba drift and damage (shriveled leaves) does not automatically mean a reduction in yield.”

    “Good luck selling that mess south of I-80.”

    I am south of I-80 and that’s exactly what we know and live. The farmers not using Dicamba are in the minority and are having a hard time making a case for real damage when the beans not only come out of it, but have similar or better yields in side-by-side comparisons.

  15. - Anon221 - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 9:13 am:

    Dicamba injury and yields-

    From the SF article below:

    “There have been all kinds of arguments that it will not cause yield loss,” says Bradley. “I don’t know where we have gone as an industry (saying) that it is OK to drift on someone else without causing yield loss. But apparently, that is the latest argument.”

    * Yep, I love it when people who trespass on my property come up with reason why it was OK for them to do so. *

  16. - Anon221 - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 9:16 am:

    U of Nebraska study-

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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