Farmers in 10 states, including Missouri, have filed a class action lawsuit against Monsanto Co. regarding alleged damage to crops from illegal herbicide use by growers.
The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Missouri, alleges Monsanto allowed farmers to plant its Xtend cotton and soybeans, which are tolerant to the dicamba herbicide, without making available a safe herbicide to use with the crops. Growers allegedly then illegally used existing dicamba formulations which drifted and damaged crops in neighboring fields.
The suit was filed by Kansas City-based Randles and Splittgerber, which also filed a suit against Monsanto related to dicamba drift in November on behalf of Missouri-based Bader Farms.
In a statement to DTN, Creve Coeur-based Monsanto said the lawsuit is “wholly without merit” and that the company would defend itself accordingly.
Bev Randles of Randles and Splittgerber said she expects hundreds of farmers to join the suit, which is open to growers who experienced damage from illegal dicamba drift in 2016 in Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. The lead plaintiffs in the case are Steven and Dee Landers of New Madrid County, Missouri.
Randles said the class action suit aims to seek damages for smaller farmers who don’t have the resources to file individual lawsuits.