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Monsanto sues Arkansas over proposed dicamba limits

Staff Writer |
Monsanto sued Arkansas agricultural officials to stop a proposed summer ban on a weed killer linked to widespread crop damage beyond the major farm state's borders.

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The lawsuit seeks to block the Arkansas State Plant Board from prohibiting the use of dicamba herbicides, manufactured by Monsanto and BASF SE, during summer when the products are meant to be sprayed on soybeans and cotton engineered by Monsanto to resist the chemical.

Growers across the farm belt said this summer that dicamba hit areas other than where it was sprayed, damaging millions of acres of crops that could not tolerate the herbicides.

Experts say dicamba is more likely to vaporize in high temperatures in a process known as volatility.

Chemical companies, though, have blamed the damage on farmers misusing dicamba.

To prevent damage, the Arkansas plant board advanced a proposal at a September meeting that put the state just one step away from banning dicamba sprayings after April 15, 2018.

However, the board did not review 14 studies on volatility Monsanto submitted at the meeting, according to the lawsuit.

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