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Soybean Herbicide Drift Complaints Skyrocket

Uptick could result in dicamba formulations being banned

Dicamba is now one herbicide option for farmers with marestail issues. (Photo: Submitted)
Dicamba is now one herbicide option for farmers with marestail issues. (Photo: Submitted)

Matt Johnson grows wheat, popcorn, sweet corn and Plenish-brand soybeans, which reportedly contain 0 trans fat, less saturated fat and the highest amount of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat available in soy.

Johnson earns a premium of 50 cents per bushel for growing Plenish rather than relatively new-technology soybeans that have been genetically engineered to tolerate the herbicide dicamba.

The bad news is his soybean crop is vulnerable to the popular new dicamba formulations making headlines across the country for drifting onto susceptible plants.

In 2016, the Office of Indiana State Chemist investigated 74 complaints of herbicide drift, three of which involved dicamba. In 2017, the state investigated a record-setting 287 total drift complaints, 132 of which were dicamba-related, reports the Star Press.

The new weed-killing products are being used "over-the-top," or on growing fields of soybeans, as compared to only using them to burn down weeds before planting.

If the complaints keep pouring in, use of the new product could become more restricted or banned.

Read the full report here.

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