Monsanto’s dicamba herbicide crisis divides farmers on pesticide regulations

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A sign marks a field of XTEND Soybean, a Monsanto brand of genetically modified soybean

Farmers planted a new kind of seed on 25 million acres of soybean and cotton fields this year. Developed by Monsanto, the seeds, genetically modified to be resistant to a weed killer called dicamba, are one of the biggest product releases in the company’s history.

But the seeds and the weed killer have turned some farmers — often customers of Monsanto, which sells both — against the company and alarmed regulators.

[Some]  farmers say they face a difficult choice — either buy the new genetically modified seeds or run the risk that their soybeans would be damaged more by a neighbor’s spraying of weed killers than by the weeds themselves.

Monsanto has put the onus on farmers. In a letter to Arkansas’ governor … a top company executive said problems were “all readily correctable through additional training, education and enforcement.” The company has already trained about 50,000 people to apply the weed killer properly.

The instructions are quite complex, discouraging spraying both when it is too windy or when it is not windy enough. Some farmers are chafing at the company’s approach.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Monsanto’s Weed Killer, Dicamba, Divides Farmers