Dicamba Issues in Iowa

Donnelle Eller reported earlier this week at The Des Moines Register Online that, “About three-fourths of Shane Susie’s 80-acre soybean field was damaged after getting hit with dicamba that drifted over his crops from neighboring fields.

“The herbicide also savaged his family’s trees, flowers and vegetable patch.

“‘We’re not eating anything out of it this year,’ said the 30-year-old who farms near Kingsley in northwest Iowa.”

Ms. Eller noted that, “He estimates his soybean damage losses at $15,000. With drought worries and low corn and soybean prices, “it will be a tough year.” he said. “It makes a challenging year more challenging.”

“Susie and other Midwest farmers have been drawn into a national debate swirling around whether new dicamba versions are safe for growers to use.

Nationally, 2,242 farmers say dicamba has damaged an estimated 3.1 million acres, a University of Missouri report shows.”

The Register article explained that, “Iowa ag leaders are investigating a record 258 crop damage reports from pesticide misuse this year. About 100 complaints on 150,000 acres are tied to dicamba.”

Ms. Eller added that, “The Iowa Soybean Association said it’s working with farmers, researchers, manufacturers and others to find answers, so growers ‘can continue to have access to these important products and they can be assured that their own and their neighbors’ crops won’t be affected.’

“Susie, a Beck’s Hybrids seed dealer, worries that his losses won’t get covered, given the ongoing debate about whether the responsibility for the damage lies with dicamba makers or those applying their products.

“Insurance adjusters have determined their clients followed label instructions when spraying the dicamba that damaged his fields. His only other option is to file a lawsuit against the applicators or join a class action suit against dicamba makers.”

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