Arkansas Plant Board Reviewing EPA Decision on Dicamba Herbicide

November 8, 2018

The Arkansas State Plant Board (ASPB), a division of the Arkansas Agriculture Department (AAD), announced it has begun the process of reviewing the announced EPA label changes for the herbicide dicamba and will be considering the appropriate framework for the use of the products by farmers in Arkansas.

A recent EPA ruling clears the path for Arkansas farmers to use the herbicide dicamba on soybeans and cotton, ending a state-wide ban on the weed killer’s use, according to an Associated Press report.

Arkansas banned in-crop use of dicamba this year after the state’s Plant Board received nearly 1,000 complaints of crop damage last year. The ban began in April and ran through October.

The ban sharply divided farmers and prompted a lawsuit from herbicide maker Monsanto. Some famers have said the herbicide is essential to curb the spread of pigweed, which has become resistant to other herbicides. But critics argue that the weed killer destroys vegetation and ecosystems.

The Plant Board has scheduled public meetings to discuss the use of dicamba products in Arkansas and the need, if any, for changes to Arkansas’s current dicamba regulations. It held one meeting on Nov. 5 to consider a petition to amend current Arkansas dicamba regulations.

The remaining meetings will be held:

  • Thursday, Nov. 15 at 9:30 a.m. — The ASPB Pesticide Committee will meet to take action, if needed, on the petition being considered on Nov. 5. The Committee will discuss dicamba regulations in Arkansas and prepare any recommendations to be considered by the full board.
  • Thursday, Dec. 6 at 1 p.m. — The regularly scheduled quarterly meeting of the ASPB.

All meetings are open to the public and will take place at the Arkansas Agriculture Department located at 1 Natural Resources Drive, Little Rock, AR, 72205.

Approximately 3.28 million acres of soybeans and 480,000 acres of cotton were planted in Arkansas in 2018. Agriculture is Arkansas’s largest industry, contributing more the $21 billion annually to the state’s economy.

The AAD is dedicated to the development and implementation of policies and programs for Arkansas agriculture and forestry to keep its farmers and ranchers competitive in national and international markets while ensuring safe food, fiber, and forest products for the citizens of the state and nation.

Source: AAD, Associated Press

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