Is Dicamba Drift Killing Farmer’s Crops?

On December 12, the state of Minnesota joined other states in deciding to restrict the usage of dicamba, a weed killer that is linked to widespread crop damage. Dicamba is manufactured by Monsanto Co & BASF SE. Many farmers across the U.S. are blaming these herbicides for crop damage, caused by a process known as volatilization, in which the herbicide evaporates and drifts away from where it was applied.

What is Dicamba?

Dicamba is a commercial pesticide used for weed control. According to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA), “dicamba is a highly volatile chemical that can damage non-target plant species through spray drift and/or volatilization.” MDA has received a high number of complaints regarding dicamba use.

This is what prompted Minnesota to prohibit spraying dicamba-based herbicides after June 20 and on days when the temperature reaches above 85 degrees Fahrenheit, as research has shown higher temperatures increase the likelihood of crop damage from volatilization. Minnesota, like other states, is hoping these restrictions will prevent a repeat year of crop damage.

Monsanto claims there is no scientific evidence that supports Minnesota’s restrictions. The companies also claim that the crop damage is caused by user error, not the herbicide.

What is the Problem?

Not all farmers chose to use dicamba in their fields. Often times, the herbicide would drift to a neighboring farm that does not use dicamba-tolerant plants, damaging the crops. Although it has been around dating back to the 1960s, last year it was approved for over the top application when the soybean is already growing. Prior, it was applied before soybeans had sprouted. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) received 2,708 complaints about dicamba crop damage from states in which this type of application was approved. It is estimated that 3.1 million acres of farmland are being damaged by the herbicide this year.

GoldenbergLaw Can Help

If you are a farmer whose crops have been destroyed, you may have a significant claim for damages. For questions about dicamba, please contact Senior Partner Stuart Goldenberg.


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