U.S. EPA Looks for Signs of Improper Dicamba (Herbicide) Use

Reuters writer Mark Weinraub reported on Tuesday that, “The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency executed search warrants in parts of southeastern Missouri earlier this month to look for signs of improper use of the herbicide dicamba, the agency said on Tuesday.

“The searches stemmed from complaints that dicamba, which has only been approved for application on fields before planting season or after harvest, damaged 41,000 acres (16,600 hectares) of soybeans and other crops. The complaints allege that improperly applied dicamba drifted into neighboring fields.

“Dicamba can injure crops that are not resistant to dicamba, reducing final yields.”

Mr. Weinraub explained that, “The warrants were executed the week of Oct. 10 at sites in Cape Girardeau, Dunklin, New Madrid and Stoddard counties as part of a criminal investigation, the EPA said. The agency did not specify what sites it searched.”

An update yesterday at FarmWeekNow Online pointed out that, “Illinois Department of Agriculture Deputy Director Warren Goetsch reported the state ag department received only a couple of dicamba complaints, and he was not aware of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 taking any action.

“Goetsch credited the proactive response of the state’s agriculture stakeholders and ‘our producers doing the right thing.’

“The EPA, USDA and Food and Drug Administration have approved dicamba-tolerant crop seed for planting in the U.S. However, restrictions remain in place on spraying dicamba-based herbicides.”

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