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Missouri farm leader: dicamba ban ‘the right decision’

Missouri Director of Agriculture Chris Chinn issued an order Friday to stop the sale and use of all dicamba products labeled for agriculture use in Missouri.  The department says all on-farm applications of dicamba products must stop immediately.

Missouri Farm Bureau President Blake Hurst tells Brownfield his organization supports the decision.

“They’ve [Missouri Department of Agriculture personnel] worked very hard, they’ve done all the right things, they’ve talked to everybody they could talk to before they made this decision,” Hurst told Brownfield Ag News from his Northwest Missouri farm Friday.  “I think they made the best decision they can, but it’s a tough one.”

Just a few hours before the Missouri dicamba ban announcement, University of Missouri weed specialist Kevin Bradley told participants at a pest management field event about the extent of reported damage.

“Our estimate right now from the extension field faculty all throughout the state of Missouri is 200-and-some-thousand acres of soybeans in our state injured with dicamba,” said Bradley, in an interview with Brownfield Ag News, “and that number increases every day.”

If the Missouri ban stretches into days or weeks, Hurst says farmers will lose yield to Palmer amaranth.

“There’s no win-win here, somebody is going to lose,” said Hurst, “so hopefully we can work toward some way to use this technology, which is desperately needed, while not harming out neighbors.”

Bradley said that it’s time for everyone to work together on the issue, from researchers, to farmers, to companies that make the herbicide.

“This is an issue that can’t be swept under the rug,” said Bradley.  “We have to deal with it, we have to communicate.”

Brownfield obtained a statement from Monsanto, the maker of Xtendimax dicamba herbicide, saying the company is concerned about reports of potential crop injury and appreciates Missouri’s expedited investigation process. Monsanto says it will actively engage in the process and continue to collaborate with the State of Missouri. The other dicamba formulations under the ban are Engenia by BASF and FeXapan by DuPont.

With reporting from Brownfield’s Julie Harker

AUDIO: Blake Hurst (3 min. MP3)

AUDIO: Kevin Bradley

 

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