Dicamba Herbicide Destroying Soybeans Across Midwest

Alternating contour strips of soybeans and corn protect against erosion and soil depletion on a farm in southern Wisconsin.

Ames, Iowa – A new report estimates more than one-million acres of soybeans across the region have been accidentally damaged by the use of dicamba herbicide despite strict usage rules.

Iowa State University Extension weed specialist and Agronomy Professor Bob Hartzler says the big increase in pesticide misuse cases indicates a stewardship problem. Hartzler says he’s talked to several farmers, including one who admits he made a critical error.

 

State officials have received 121 complaints of herbicide drift this year, compared to 82 statewide in early July of 2017.

 

Hartzler says you can only do so much with education.

 

Hartzler says he’s not convinced further regulation is the answer, either.

 

Hartzler says it’s a difficult situation and producers need to do a better job of selecting fields where the product is applied. He says more attention also needs to be made to strictly follow the label. Arkansas and Missouri banned the sale and use of dicamba last year following multiple complaints of crop damage due to drift.

 

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