Use of illegal, older varieties of dicamba herbicide blamed for causing crop damage across 10 states

dicamba damage
Image Credit: Dan Charles/NPR

For some farmers and weed scientists, puckered leaves on certain crops and other plants have become a familiar summertime sight — one that can suggest vapor from the weedkiller dicamba has moved through the air.

What many now refer to as “the D-word” is once again a topic of conversation…A question at the heart of the debate is whether dicamba — a decades-old chemical that has a tendency to evaporate, or volatize, and move off-target — can coexist on a broad scale with plants that are not genetically modified to tolerate it, without inflicting harm.

The debate has grown steadily since 2015, when a new variety of cotton kicked off Monsanto’s rollout of its “Xtend” seeds engineered to withstand dicamba — a herbicide lauded by the company and many farmers as a much-needed tool in the fight against Roundup-resistant “superweeds.” But new, less-volatile forms of dicamba spray had not yet been approved for use with the Xtend crops, creating a situation where some farmers are accused of illegally using older varieties of the chemical — a choice that…left surrounding farmers vulnerable to crop damage if volatization or physical drift occurred.

The University of Missouri Division of Plant Sciences…says that as of mid-June, estimated damage affects more than 383,000 acres of soybeans across at least 10 states, including Missouri and Illinois. Trees, vegetables and specialty crops are also showing signs of injury this year.

Read full, original article: Reports of dicamba damage to crops are back again

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

As Europe sees record coronavirus cases and deaths, Slovakia is testing its entire adult population. WSJ's Drew Hinshaw explains how ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
favicon

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend