As complaints of damage from dicamba spiral ever higher across multiple states, officials in Missouri and Arkansas enacted bans Friday on the herbicide blamed for vaporizing and injuring crops without genetically engineered resistance.
The more than 130 cases of suspected dicamba drift reported in Missouri this year already eclipse last year’s totals, when many farmers saw heavy losses for crop yields in the Bootheel region of southeast Missouri.
Effective immediately, Missouri Director of Agriculture Chris Chinn announced Friday that sales and on-farm use of the volatile herbicide would be suspended. The move is being made “with an abundance of caution and is temporary until a more permanent solution is reached,” according to an Agriculture Department news release.
Affected crops in Missouri include about 45,000 acres of soybeans, as well as commercial tomatoes, watermelons, cantaloupes, grapes, pumpkins and residential gardens and trees, according to a Twitter post from the University of Missouri’s Weed Science program.