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‘Dicamba fatigue’: State regulators anticipate more off-target damage from Bayer’s controversial herbicide in 2020

| | December 17, 2019
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Arkansas farmer David Wildy inspects a field of soybeans that were damaged by dicamba in 2017. Image: Dan Charles/NPR
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Three consecutive years of off-target dicamba injury is taking its toll on the agricultural industry. Leo Reed even has a name for it: dicamba fatigue.

“States recognize that both we and the [EPA], we’re all suffering from dicamba fatigue — staffing shortages and issues and processing a huge number of complaint cases again this year,” said Reed, an Indiana state pesticide regulator serving as president-elect of the Association of American Pesticide Control Officials (AAPCO).

Communication with EPA over dicamba problems hit an all-time low in 2019. Unlike the weekly conference calls and data reporting of 2018, very little regular communication between state regulators and EPA occurred this year, Reed noted.

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The federal agency had its first formal contact with states regarding dicamba problems in 2019 on Nov. 26, in an hour-long conference call, Reed noted. The most pressing question that states have for EPA remains unanswered so far, however, he added.

“The No. 1 question we need an answer to is: Does EPA consider plant damage from dicamba usage an ‘unreasonable adverse effect?’ We need a yes or no.”

Until then, regulators are not optimistic that 2020 will bring relief for overworked regulators and state agricultural departments.

Read full, original article: Dicamba Fatigue: States Report Another Year of Dicamba Injury to EPA

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