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Arkansas Plant Board moves forward with proposed dicamba ban
Arkansas Plant Board moves forward with proposed dicamba ban

The ban would be in place from April through October

By Diego Flammini
News Reporter
Farms.com

Agricultural legislators in Arkansas are moving ahead with a motion to place a seasonal ban on a common soybean herbicide.

The state Plant Board voted 11-3 yesterday in favor of the dicamba ban, which would be in place from April 16 to Oct. 31.

In December, legislators had considered delaying the ban to examine a number of items including a later cut-off date.

Republican Senator Bill Sample, who originally called for the delay, backed the ban after hearing the Board’s arguments.

“They did exactly what I asked them to and I will stick by them in their decision,” Sample told the Associated Press Wednesday.

The Arkansas Legislative Council will review the Plant Board’s ruling on Jan. 16.

In the meantime, farmers are preparing themselves for a soybean growing season without dicamba.

“It’s going to be a challenge, but that’s just one of the things we’re going to have to deal with,” Gary Sitzer, Chairman of the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board and producer from Poinsett County, told Farms.com today. “We just want to get the best results for farmers.”


Gary Sitzer

While a lack of dicamba will place another hurdle in front of farmers, it might not create too much of a hindrance.

Herbicide technology has come far enough that farmers will still have tools to manage weeds, according to Dr. Jeremy Ross, a soybean agronomist with the University of Arkansas Extension.

The ban “is going to limit the acreage that the product is applied on, but there’s other options out there that have been successful,” Ross told Farms.com. “Our soybeans are only about 25 per cent planted (when the ban would start) anyway. This (ban) isn’t going to shutdown Arkansas soybean production.”

Dicamba has been in the spotlight since last fall, when the Plant Board received nearly 1,000 complaints about dicamba drift damage.

Since then, several states, including Minnesota, South Dakota, Tennessee, Missouri and North Dakota, have implemented dicamba application regulations.