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Monsanto

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas' ban on the use of a weed killer blamed by farmers in several states for crop damage will remain in place after a state judge dismissed a legal challenge by a maker of the herbicide.

In Arkansas, there is a kind of David vs. Goliath battle underway over a weedkiller.

On one side, there is the giant Monsanto Company. On the other, a committee of 18 people, mostly farmers and small-business owners, that regulates the use of pesticides in the state. It has banned Monsanto's latest way of killing weeds during the growing season.

Terry Fuller is on that committee. He never intended to pick a fight with a billion-dollar company. "I didn't feel like I was leading the charge," he says. "I felt like I was just trying to do my duty."

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - A special panel of judges says 11 lawsuits filed in four states against the makers of the herbicide dicamba will be centralized in federal court in St. Louis.

The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation made the determination Thursday regarding farmers' lawsuits filed in Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas and Illinois. The lawsuits argue that the makers of dicamba are responsible for damage caused by the herbicide to their crops, especially soybeans.

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas lawmakers have approved banning an herbicide that farmers say has drifted onto crops where it wasn't applied and caused damage, but the prohibition still faces a legal challenge from a maker of the weed killer.

The Legislative Council on Friday without discussion approved the Plant Board's plan to ban dicamba from April 16 through Oct. 31. A subcommittee earlier this week recommended the council, the Legislature's main governing body when lawmakers aren't in session, approve the proposal.

The Arkansas Plant Board has doubled down on its plan to ban Dicamba, the agricultural weed killer. The vote Wednesday was a slight rebuke of state Rep. Bill Sample (R-Hot Springs) and colleagues on a legislative subcommittee that last month asked the board to reconsider the ban, specifically the April 15 cutoff date for spraying Monsanto’s controversial herbicide.

 

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Monsanto has asked a judge to prevent Arkansas lawmakers from banning the use of a weed killer that farmers in several states have said drifts onto their crops and causes widespread damage.

The Missouri-based agribusiness asked a Pulaski County judge to issue a preliminary injunction preventing the state from banning dicamba's use while the company challenges a prohibition approved by the Arkansas Plant Board last month.

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The last step in banning dicamba during the bulk of the 2018 growing season and a significant increase to the fines for farmers who use it illegally will be decided by Arkansas legislative committees during the next week.

Arkansas soybean farmers who rely on a chemical called Dicamba to kill weeds must stop using it during the growing season next year. That’s because it has allegedly been drifting to neighboring farms and killing crops.

Arkansas legislators on Friday allowed a prohibition on the sale and use of dicamba to take effect. The Executive Subcommittee of the Arkansas Legislative Council took no action on the proposed 120-day ban, a decision that upholds a ruling made last month by the Arkansas Plant Board. The ban will officially go into effect Tuesday at 12:01am unless members of the council move to reverse it.

Two weeks ago, in a remarkable move, the State Plant Board of Arkansas voted to ban the sale and use of a weedkiller called dicamba. It took that action after a wave of complaints about dicamba drifting into neighboring fields and damaging other crops, especially soybeans.

That ban is still waiting to go into force. It requires approval from a committee of the state legislature, which will meet on Friday.

When agricultural extension agent Tom Barber drives the country roads of eastern Arkansas this summer, his trained eye can spot the damage: soybean leaves contorted into cup-like shapes.

He's seeing it in field after field. Similar damage is turning up in Tennessee and in the "boot-heel" region of Missouri. Tens of thousands of acres are affected.