Farmers, Arkansas battle over dicamba ban
Farmers in Arkansas are fighting the state for the right to use dicamba this growing season, challenging a seasonal ban that began April 16 and runs through Oct. 31.
So far the results have been mixed, with about 200 farmers authorized to use the herbicide. But whether that permission will last until planting of soybeans and cotton begins in earnest is an open question. The issues raised, such as whether the Arkansas State Plant Board (ASPB) can claim sovereign immunity from lawsuits, will ultimately have to be resolved by the state Supreme Court. But in the meantime, the publicity has spawned more lawsuits.
“It’s growing,” attorney Grant Ballard of Ark Ag Law in Little Rock said of interest in the cases, which have been filed in Pulaski County, Mississippi County and Phillips County. Circuit court judges in the latter two counties issued orders last week allowing the grower plaintiffs to use BASF’s Engenia, the only product licensed for use in the state (Monsanto’s Xtendimax is not authorized for use), but the state is appealing those decisions.