LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- A herbicide causing controversy with Arkansas farmers is getting national attention.
Farmers here and in other states are filing lawsuits for losses caused by the herbicide that was not approved for on-crop use until late last year. Dicamba works great for farmers who use it properly, but if their neighbors don’t have the dicamba resistant crops, they say it spreads to their fields ruining their crops.
Soybean farmer Robby Bevis has never used dicamba on his crops himself, but his neighbor did earlier this year.
“My neighbors, the ones that did use it, did everything by the book, followed the label, and it still moved," said Bevis.
He didn't file a complaint, but believes dicamba drifted from another field to his, causing minor loss to his soybean crops.
"They don’t know how far this stuff will travel. They’ve got to figure out how to contain it," said Bevis.
A new report out of the University of Missouri show there are 2,708 dicamba complaints across the country, most in Arkansas. As of October 11, the state plant board has received 985 complaints of dicamba misuse across the state. That’s why the use of dicamba was put under a temporary ban a few months ago.
"There are farmers that have had great success from the product but there are farmers who have suffered great losses because of alleged damage from the product," said Adriane Barnes with the Arkansas Agriculture Department.
In September, the state plant board unanimously voted for a possible solution, a proposal to prohibit the use of dicamba in Arkansas between April 16 and October 31 every year.
"It’s establishing a use window. So these agriculture products that contain dicamba can be used until April 16," said Barnes.
The plant board received more than 25,000 comments on this proposed change.
"When most people are really needing it is on into the season, so really it’s almost a complete ban," said Bevis.
A public hearing will be held at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Little Rock (11301 Financial Centre Parkway, Little Rock Arkansas 72211) on November 8 beginning at 9:00 a.m., after which the final proposed rule will be forwarded to the Executive Subcommittee of the Arkansas Legislative Council for final rule approval.
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