An influential Missouri lawmaker wants the EPA to get involved in pesticide issues that have destroyed some Missouri crops.

State Rep. Bill Reiboldt [Photo courtesy of Tim Bommel, House Communications)

State Rep. Bill Reiboldt [Photo courtesy of Tim Bommel, House Communications)

State Rep. Bill Reiboldt (R-Neosho), who chairs the Missouri House Select Committee on Agriculture, tells Missourinet that he’ll pre-file legislation in December to urge the EPA to take another step to help reduce drift from occurring when using a pesticide called dicamba.

The Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA) has testified that there have been 124 pesticide complaints involving dicamba since June. Reiboldt says the EPA has been waiting six years to approve a product that could help.

“House concurrent resolution to urge the EPA to release the new dicamba chemical the Xtend that Monstanto has, and then Dow DuPont has another one. I can’t remember the name right off, but urging them to release that,” Reiboldt says.

MDA testifies that the complaints have come from five southeast Missouri counties and northwest Missouri’s Carroll County. The complaints allege damage to soybeans, peaches, watermelons, tomatoes, cotton, peanuts and some alfalfa.

Meantime, proposed legislation to increase penalties for those who illegally spray pesticides on crops has the strong support of Reiboldt, who notes the current fine for illegally spraying pesticides is $1,000 per field.

“And we’re trying to up it to $20 (thousand) $25,000, to really put some teeth in it, where people will sit up and take notice that if you use the chemical illegally, you’re going to pay,” Reiboldt says.

He says there is tremendous support for that measure, which will be pre-filed in December by State Rep. Don Rone (R-Portageville).

Reiboldt, who is unopposed in November, will begin his fourth and final House term in January. He represents southwest Missouri’s Newton County.