Dicamba on trial: Peach farmer testifies Monsanto knew its drift-prone herbicide would damage his 1,000-acre operation

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Peach farmer Bill Bader says dicamba damaged his 1,000-acre farm. Credit: St. Louis Post Dispatch

Since 1970, Bill Bader has worked on peach farms in Dunklin County, Missouri, just north of the Arkansas border. Bader started picking peaches at age 13, and in 1988, he established Bader Farms.

The farm grew to become the largest peach grower in Missouri, shipping fruit to grocery stores such as IGA and Walmart, as well as others across eight states in the Midwest and South.

“A peach we picked today will be in the grocery store tomorrow morning,” Bader testified in federal court in Cape Girardeau on [Feb. 4].

Bader took the stand a week and a half into a trial of a lawsuit he filed against German agribusiness giants Bayer and BASF. Bader alleges that drift from the herbicide dicamba …. made his 1,000-acre operation no longer sustainable.

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His lawsuit alleges Monsanto, which was acquired by Bayer in 2018, and BASF released their dicamba-related products beginning in 2015, knowing they would cause damage to other farmers.

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Monsanto attorney Jan Miller said the trial will show that Bader Farms has no proof that dicamba sprayed on dicamba-resistant cotton and soybean seeds killed the trees …. Instead, the farm’s trees were harmed by weather events, which Bader submitted insurance claims for, and disease, Miller said.

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