In a letter to Governor Hutchinson on Thursday, agriculture giant Monsanto asked the state to reject a state task force’s recommendation that Arkansas ban the use of dicamba herbicides after April 15, 2018. The Arkansas Legislative Council previously imposed a 120-day ban on dicamba use effective July 11.
Robb Fraley, chief technology officer for Monsanto, said the Arkansas Plant Board task force’s recommended ban was biased and not supported by data. Fraley also called the state’s regulatory process “arbitrary, not based on science” and said it was in need of revision.
Meanwhile, Reuters reported earlier in the week that the EPA is considering banning the spraying of dicamba after a certain period next year after consulting with state officials and experts, including in Arkansas.
You can see why Monsanto is fighting these developments:
Monsanto has projected its Xtend crop system would return a $5 to $10 premium per acre over soybeans with glyphosate resistance alone, creating a $400-$800 million opportunity for the company once the seeds are planted on an expected 80 million acres in the United States, according to [an analyst].
David Koon wrote a cover story for the Times last month about the dicamba fight in Arkansas and the murder of a northeast Arkansas farmer, allegedly by a neighbor over a dicamba dispute.