300+ AR Farmers Oppose Dicamba Ban

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Hundreds of Arkansas farmers are organizing in opposition to a ban on the herbicide dicamba. 

A news release issued Wednesday by a Little Rock law office states that a petition opposing restrictions proposed by the Arkansas State Plant Board’s Dicamba Task Force has been signed by more than 300 farmers representing over 1.2 million acres of Arkansas cropland in production.
Leading farmers, including some of whom suffered dicamba injury during the 2017 crop year, have come together in the petition to demonstrate their opposition to a proposed April 15 cutoff date for the application of dicamba-based herbicides during the 2018 crop year. The petition began circulating just last Friday, Sept. 15, and already includes the names of producers who farm in 22 Arkansas counties.   

The organizers of the petition were motivated to show the extent of grassroots support for the continued use of dicamba herbicides. 

"While media attention has previously focused on the opposition to this technology, many producers have seen first-hand the successes of dicamba technology in controlling the presence of pigweed in Arkansas crops," the release continues. "Producers have also been impressed by significant improvements in yield with the use of available technology packages."

The petition effort was initiated, in part, because of the concern that the voice of Arkansas’ farmers has not been given significant attention in the political debate that has surrounded the use of the dicamba-based formulations including the Xtendimax, FeXapan and Engenia herbicide products.   

Producers Michael McCarty, Tom Burnham, Becton Bell, Perry Galloway, Greg Hart, Franklin Fogleman, and Matt Smith have also circulated an open letter to the Arkansas State Plant Board (see link below to letter) opposing the Task Force recommendations while also listing their own recommendations that would allow the continued use of the dicamba and Xtend technologies subject to certain limitations designed to reduce unintended plant injury. These individuals plan to present their recommendations, as well as the Petition opposing the recommendations of the Arkansas Dicamba Task Force, to the full State Plant Board.   

In support of the continued use of dicamba herbicides in 2018, past the proposed April 15 cutoff date, the signatories to the open letter to the State Plant Board suggest that: 

  1. The restrictions on the use of dicamba technology, currently proposed by the Dicamba Task Force, will certainly result in financial losses and economic damage to row crop farmers in Arkansas.  In experience, alternative platforms for the management of pigweeds are not competitive with the available dicamba based technology. 
  2. While well-intentioned, the Arkansas Dicamba Task Force was not representative of the majority of Arkansas row crop producers and these producers’ concerns were not adequately addressed. 
  3. Palmer Amaranth (pigweed) is a major problem for Arkansas row crop producers and the Arkansas State Plant Board should not be the only state in the South where dicamba technology is taken from farmers. The signatories to the attached letter believe that a May 25th cutoff date and a 1-mile buffer for application would have greatly reduced or eliminated nearly all the injury that occurred in Arkansas, during the 2017 crop year. 

Individuals who would like to join the petition effort to ensure that dicamba-based technology is available to Arkansas farmers for the 2018 crop year may reach the organizers of the petition at arneedsdicamba@gmail.com or by contacting the petition organizers by telephone as listed below: 
Michael McCarty at (870) 740-3172
Greg Hart at (870) 838-5741
Becton Bell at (870) 623-8200
Franklin Fogleman at (901) 674-2840
Matt Smith at (870) 740-5041
Tom Burnham at (870) 838-4466
Perry Galloway at (501) 940-3575

Click links below to read:
Dicamba Petition
Open Letter to Arkansas State Plant Board

More Stories

Don't Miss

Trending Stories

Latest News

  • KARK 4 News

  • KARK 4 News

  • KARK 4 News Mobile App

  • Arkansas Storm Team Mobile App