Bootheel legislator requests special hearing on illegal herbicide use

Suspected drift from illegal use of the herbicide, dicamba, is exacting a steep toll on farmers in the Bootheel and neighboring states, and soon Missouri lawmakers may be asked to intervene.

A dramatic rise in reports of drift-related crop damage has prompted State Rep. Don Rone, R-Portageville, to request a special hearing of Missouri’s House Agriculture Committee.

In a letter to House Speaker Todd Richardson, Rone expressed that dicamba is believed to have affected thousands of acres in the Bootheel alone, potentially costing farmers millions of dollars. He said the hearing would aim to “assess the problem” and make members more knowledgeable about dicamba.

Since late June, more than 100 cases of crop damage have been reported to the state Department of Agriculture concerning farms in the Bootheel region. The department typically receives about 80 such cases statewide in an entire year.

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