Scientists are expressing concern that limits on the pesticide dicamba announced last week by the Environmental Protection Agency will not do enough to prevent widespread crop damage.
The EPA last week approved the use of dicamba-based pesticides through 2020. In doing so, it introduced new limits, including a prohibition of spraying the chemical on dicamba-tolerant soybeans 45 days after planting and dicamba-tolerant cotton 60 days after planting.
But some scientists say that restriction won’t do enough, due to likely May and June planting dates for soybeans. Given that timeline, they say, temperatures within 45 days of planting will be hot enough to cause destructive dicamba drift.
In 2017, a University of Missouri researcher estimated dicamba drift had damaged some 3.6 million acres of soybeans nationwide. Missouri had the second-highest number of reported cases in the country that year.