MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota appear restrictions Tuesday on how farmers can use the herbicide dicamba in 2018, responding to complaints by soybean growers above the country that it afflicted their crops this year.
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture set a June 20 blow date for applying the herbicide and banned applications back the temperature or anticipation aerial for the day is aloft 85 degrees. The rules are meant to abate instances of the herbicide afloat and damaging adjoining fields, which has been a botheration in soybean- and cotton-growing states civic this year.
“We will be carefully ecology the herbicide’s achievement with these restrictions in 2018,” Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson said in a statement.
Farmers accept acclimated dicamba for decades, and its problems with animation and alluvion were well-known. But its use has surged in the aftermost brace years back agribusiness companies Monsanto, BASF and DuPont alien genetically engineered, dicamba-tolerant varieties of soybeans and affection so that farmers could use the herbicide to ascendancy boxy weeds in those crops, such as pigweed, that accept become aggressive to added edger killers such as glyphosate, additionally accepted as Roundup.
The companies additionally alien low-volatility formulations of dicamba advised to abate dehydration and drift, but farmers who didn’t bulb aggressive crop varieties or use dicamba anon began advertisement doubtable accident anyway.
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture says it accustomed 253 complaints from soybean growers in 49 Minnesota counties, including 55 requests for academic inspections. University of Minnesota advisers appraisal that 265,000 acreage above the accompaniment were affected.
The Minnesota Soybean Growers Association accustomed the new rules.
“We charge dicamba,” the group’s president, Michael Petefish, said in a statement. “We additionally charge these new restrictions. Producers charge to accept the adeptness to acclimate this artefact to their operations, and these added guidelines will acquiesce users to do aloof that in a safe and environmentally complete manner.”
But Monsanto criticized Minnesota’s new restrictions.
“There’s no accurate acumen to accept a blow date or a temperature limit. There is no testing that supports it,” Scott Partridge, Monsanto’s carnality admiral of all-around strategy, said in an interview. He encouraged the accompaniment to be adjustable about the blow date if bounded altitude warrant. He acicular out that pigweed doesn’t apperceive the blow date, and it will be arresting for farmers who acquisition infestations of aggressive weeds afterwards that date not to accept the herbicide available.
Partridge said the band-aid lies in apprenticeship and training, so that farmers and applicators use the appropriate accessories and chase the characterization instructions. He acicular out that in Georgia, area training was binding this year, the accompaniment accustomed no letters of astray movements of dicamba. In Monsanto’s experience, he said, back dicamba is activated according to the label, the herbicide doesn’t move above the absorber area and accident adjacent crops.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency appear a accord with Monsanto, BASF and DuPont in September for new autonomous labeling requirements. Added training and certifications will be appropriate for workers who administer dicamba to crops. The new federal rules additionally absolute back and how the herbicide can be sprayed, such as time of day, with apprehension not beyond 10 mph.
Other states accept additionally adopted restrictions that go added than the federal rules. Adjoining North Dakota has banned applications on soybeans afterwards June 30 or the crop’s aboriginal blossom phase, whichever comes first. Monsanto has sued to block alike tougher restrictions proposed in Arkansas to prohibit its use from April 16 through Oct. 31. A aldermanic console on Tuesday recommended accompaniment regulators alter the proposed ban.
Arkansas has accustomed about 1,000 complaints about dicamba. The accompaniment imposed a acting ban on its sales and use beforehand this year.
Associated Press biographer Andrew DeMillo in Little Rock, Arkansas, contributed to this report.
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