State Rep. Don Rone plans to introduce a bill in January
By Diego Flammini
Assistant Editor, North American Content
The Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA) is investigating about 115 complaints related to pesticides and at least one State Representative feels changes are needed.
State Rep. Done Rone plans to pre-file legislation in December which would increase the penalties for those who misuse or illegally spray pesticides under the Missouri Pesticide Use Act.
Judy Grundler, division director for plant industries MDA told St. Louis Public Radio that there’s usually about 80 complaints annually.
Grundler said seventy investigations are ongoing and encompass an area spanning 40,000 acres and 400 fields. Soybeans, peaches and watermelons are among the damaged crops reported.
The current penalty is $1,000 per field. Under Rone’s bill, that penalty could increase to $10,000 per field.
Mssourinet reports that Rone is going to ask House Speaker Todd Richardson to fast-track the bill in January in the hopes it gets passed before next year’s planting season begins.
“Because if we don’t fast-track this, then the growing season down there (southeast Missouri) starts in March and we need to have this already in place, the Governor signed it and make it law before the next planting season which starts in the end of March,” Rone told Missourinet.