Missouri decision on dicamba regulation draws criticism

Some in Missouri’s agriculture sector are taking issue with the decision announced by the state agriculture department last month not to adopt stricter regulations of the controversial weedkiller dicamba than what the Environmental Protection Agency announced weeks before.

Critics have raised concerns about both Missouri’s decision to forgo oversight of the chemical, and about the process by which that decision was made.

Missouri and neighboring states have seen a surge in complains of dicamba damage the last couple years, as the weedkiller has drifted off target and damaged crops that aren’t resistant to it.

In an announcement Nov. 20, the Missouri Department of Agriculture expressed support for the regulations for dicamba use suggested by the EPA in late October. Those include the condition that only certified applicators can spray dicamba on crops, and a prohibition on the weedkiller’s application more 45 days after dicamba-tolerant soybeans are planted.

Some critics would prefer hard date or temperature cutoffs on dicamba application, saying the EPA rules don’t do enough. Others say Missouri’s decision on the regulations, made during harvest season, did not provide farmers an opportunity to voice their views.

Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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