The in-crop use of the dicamba herbicide should be allowed in Arkansas but with severe restrictions next year on when it can be sprayed, a task force recommended on Aug. 24, according to ArkansasOnline.
The recommendation now goes to the state Plant Board and the governor, and possibly to lawmakers if there are proposed changes to state law, according to the article.
The task force recommended an April 15 cutoff date for the spraying of dicamba in-crop, which is after the plants emerge from the soil. Most crops in Arkansas aren’t planted until May, “so the April 15 cutoff essentially defeats the purpose of using BASF’s Engenia, the only dicamba herbicide allowed in Arkansas for in-crop use this year,” the article said.
Arkansas, which banned the use and sale of dicamba on July 11 for 120 days, has logged 950 alleged dicamba misuse complaints as of Aug. 23. Governor Asa Hutchinson directed Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward and Plant Board Director Terry Walker to convene a task force to review dicamba technology, investigate current problems with its use and application, and make long-term recommendations for the future.
On a national scale, there are now more than 2,200 dicamba-related injury investigations being conducted by various state Departments of Agriculture, and more than 3.1 million acres of soybean estimated with dicamba injury, according to an assessment by Dr. Kevin Bradley, Associate Professor, Division of Plant Sciences with the University of Missouri.
“In my opinion, we have never seen anything like this before; this is not like the introduction of Roundup Ready or any other new trait or technology in our agricultural history,” he said, contradicting earlier statements made by Monsanto and BASF executives.