The State of Arkansas is not known as a hot bed of aggressive action to limit pesticide use and risks. But last season illegal spraying of dicamba on Monsanto’s new genetically engineered Xtend soybeans in this and neighboring states led to lawsuits, EPA warrants being served and even the fatal shooting of an Arkansas farmer. This drama led a unanimous recommendation by the State’s Plant Board to, in effect, not allow farmers to take advantage of the new GE, herbicide-tolerant trait.
As explained in this in-depth reporting by Arkansas Online, Governor Asa Hutchinson is pondering whether to accept the Plant Board’s recommendation. There will be some major league arm-twisting going on behind the scenes, but at the end of the day, it seems Missouri farmers and its leading agricultural organizations, including the Farm Bureau, have finally said enough is enough, time to get off the herbicide treadmill brought on by over-reliance on Roundup Ready soybeans. We will watch with interest what happens over the winter.
Source: Stephen Steed, “Dicmaba decision looms for governor; limit herbicide’s use, Arkansas panel urges,” ArkansasOnline, December 18, 2016.