Farmer Complaints Regarding Dicamba in Minnesota

Mark Steil reported late last week at Minnesota Public Radio Online that, “The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is investigating about two dozen complaints from farmers about the weed killer dicamba.

“Dicamba is used on soybean fields that have been genetically modified to tolerate the herbicide. But Minnesota farmers have joined hundreds in the southern U.S. who allege that drifting dicamba hurts non-resistant fields.”

The update stated that, “Affected farmers often blame Monsanto, one of the nation’s largest agribusiness corporations which brought dicamba-resistant soybeans to the market.

“Monsanto chief technology officer Robb Fraley said there are small-scale drift problems like any herbicide can experience. But he said most of the damage is caused by farmer error.

“‘The vast majority of the farmers who’ve used this tool have used it safely and effectively,’ Fraley said.”

Last week’s MPR update added that, “But just where the blame lies for the dicamba problems should become clearer in the months ahead. Lab tests of vegetation from damaged fields should prove if dicamba is to blame.

“Like other states, the Minnesota agriculture department is investigating complaints about the herbicide.

Greg Cremers, a supervisor in the agency’s pesticide and fertilizer management division, said the dicamba complaints starting coming in about 10 days ago.”

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