Record number of pesticide misuse claims by Iowa farmers due to dicamba drift problems

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

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.

Monsanto and other ag giants like DuPont and BASF have developed seeds that are genetically modified so they can be sprayed with dicamba, killing weeds but leaving the crop unharmed.

At issue is whether the new dicamba products stay where they’re sprayed — or move to neighboring fields, where they can damage non-resistant crops, fruits and vegetables, trees and flowers.

Monsanto claims the problems primarily come from farm application errors.

Some university weed scientists disagree.

“The big debate is whether or not the stuff is volatilizing,” or turning from liquid to vapor, enabling it to easily move, potentially over a few days, said Robert Hartzler, an Iowa State University weed scientist.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is talking with academic researchers, state farm regulators, and Monsanto and other manufacturers to determine whether new restrictions should be placed on the chemical’s use.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Iowa farmers make record number of pesticide misuse claims