By nature and tradition, growers are highly skilled at adapting to changing conditions that threaten their livelihood. Season after season, they look for ways to improve their operations and ensure the well-being of their families and the communities they serve. One of the biggest challenges facing farmers today is keeping new strains of weeds from limiting their yields. Until this year, they did not have an effective technology to help them control this problem.
Recent actions taken in Arkansas and Missouri to ban or restrict the use of dicamba herbicides, including BASF’s Engenia®, deprive farmers of the one option that has proven effective in controlling this worrisome, yield-robbing issue. These actions punish farmers who have successfully and lawfully used the product. It also fails to provide a reasonable deterrent to those who may be willing to ignore the ban or not strictly follow label instructions, which is a major culprit in a number of complaints.
We feel a better approach would be developing a fact and science-based recommendation that focuses on a longer-term solution for farmers. We can only do so once we have further clarity on the ongoing investigations regarding crop damage attributed to dicamba. This is something we are committed to doing through partnering with the dicamba technology taskforce proposed by Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson. We also stand ready to collaborate with the Missouri Department of Agriculture in a similar fashion.
It has been suggested it is time for a “pause” on dicamba. Unfortunately, farmers cannot hit “pause” on the growing season and their window of opportunity to protect their yields is closing. We encourage farmers to continue to work with our field staff to address any issues they are seeing in their fields and we pledge our ongoing support of their use of this important technology.