Missouri Director of Agriculture Chris Chinn has issued a Stop Sale, Use or Removal Order on all products labeled for agricultural use that the contain dicamba pesticide in Missouri. In a news release the department said that all on-farm applications of dicamba products must cease immediately.
“We fully support what [the Missouri Department of Agriculture did,” said Missouri Farm Bureau President Blake Hurst from his Northwest Missouri farm Friday, when reached by Brownfield Ag News. “I think the Department did the best they could to try to deal with the problem.”
So far this year, the Department’s Bureau of Pesticide Control has received more than 130 pesticide drift complaints believed related to dicamba, which has allegedly damaged thousands of acres of crops. The decision to issue a Stop Sale, Use or Removal Order in Missouri was made with an abundance of caution, said the Department’s news release, and is temporary until a more permanent solution is reached.
“We want to protect farmers and their livelihoods. At the same time, my commitment to technology and innovation in agriculture is unwavering,” Director of Agriculture Chris Chinn said. “That’s why I am asking the makers of these approved post-emergent products, researchers and farmers to work with us to determine how we can allow applications to resume this growing season, under certain agreed upon conditions.”
Pesticide distributors and retailers must immediately stop all sales and offers of sales of all dicamba products labeled for agricultural use. All agricultural pesticide users, including certified commercial applicators and private applicators, must immediately cease in-crop, post-emergent use of all dicamba products. Products include, but are not limited to:
- FeXapan herbicide plus VaporGrip Technology, EPA Registration Number 352-913;
- Engenia Herbicide, EPA Registration Number 7969-345; and
• XTENDIMAX with VaporGrip Technology, EPA Registration Number 524-617
Distributors, retailers and pesticide applicators in possession of dicamba products labeled for agricultural use are advised not to sell or use the products until the stop sale expires or is lifted. Sale, use or removal of such products would be a violation of Section 281.101 RSMo and subject to civil penalties.
“With only a small window left for application in this growing season, I understand the critical need to resolve this issue,” Director Chinn said. “I look forward to working with our farmers, researchers and industry partners to find an immediate solution.”
Arkansas lawmakers Friday put a 120-day ban on dicamba effective July 11.
Just a few hours before the Missouri dicamba ban announcement, University of Missouri weed specialist Kevin Bradley told participants at a pest management field event about the extent of reported damage.
“Our estimate right now from the extension field faculty all throughout the state of Missouri is 200-and-some-thousand acres of soybeans in our state injured with dicamba,” said Bradley, in an interview with Brownfield Ag News, “and that number increases every day.”
Bradley said that it’s time for everyone to work together on the issue, from researchers, to farmers, to companies that make the herbicide.
“This is an issue that can’t be swept under the rug,” said Bradley. “We have to deal with it, we have to communicate.”
Missourinet sister network Brownfield Ag News obtained a statement from Monsanto, the maker of Xtendimax dicamba herbicide, saying the company is concerned about reports of potential crop injury and appreciates Missouri’s expedited investigation process. Monsanto says it will actively engage in the process and continue to collaborate with the State of Missouri. The other dicamba formulations under the ban are Engenia by BASF and FeXapan by DuPont.
Brownfield’s Tom Steever wrote this story with a contribution from Brownfield’s Julie Harker