Nearly 900 farmers complain about controversial herbicide dicamba

Farmers complain about herbicide dicamba, governor bans it temporarily

MORRILTON, Ark. (KTHV) -- If you find soybeans are harder to find, many fingers will be pointed at dicamba. It's a herbicide that farmers haven't been able to use legally until this year, but already it's banned.

Governor Asa Hutchinson directed a task force to look into its long term effects.

"Dicamba is creating controversy in the largest industry in our state," said Adriane Barnes, Director of Communications for the Arkansas Agriculture Department.

It's creating controversy because some farmers love it, while others say its ruining their crops.

"We can’t use the technology safely with the issues at hand," said farmer and task force member, David Wildy.

There's no debate that dicamba technology serves its purpose of keeping away weeds, but farmers who don’t have dicamba resistant crops say its spreading from their neighbors farms causing serious damage to theirs.

"We’re talking about sizable damage in some of these fields where individuals are going to have a hard time making a living this year," said Jason Norsworthy, a weed science professor at the University of Arkansas Department of Agriculture.

It's only been a legal option for Arkansas farmers for a few months and already there have been nearly 900 complaints which is why it’s now under a 120 day ban.

"Certainly it’s a technology that works, it’s a wonderful technology. I’m a farmer myself, I need the technology, I want the technology, but in my opinion as agriculture industry, we cannot use a technology regardless of how good it is if we cannot keep that technology on target," said Wildy

No decisions on recommendations were made at the task forces first meeting Thursday. They are planning another meeting. They added that they plan to come to a recommendation within a timely manner to give farmers time to prepare for next year.

© 2017 KTHV-TV


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