Tensions rise in Bootheel as suspected herbicide drift strains finances, relationships

Although this year’s soybean harvest is setting national records for volume, many farmers in the Missouri Bootheel are not experiencing the same abundance.

The southeast region of the state is a part of a multistate swath where damage from suspected illegal herbicide drift has slashed yields for farmers who did not plant crops resistant to the herbicide, dicamba.

Fallout from the damage is pitting neighbor against neighbor and straining, or simply ruining, relationships in the area’s tight-knit farming communities.

Insurance companies will not compensate farmers for losses caused by wrongful or “off label” herbicide applications, leaving civil lawsuits as a potential recourse for growers trying to recover damages.

And growers aren’t the only ones affected. Area businesses — especially those dealing in agriculture — figure to take a hit too, as farmers are left with less money to spend.

Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch


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