The two biggest independent seed sellers in the United States are seeking a ban of dicamba beyond pre-plant applications. Beck’s Hybrids and Stine Seed told Reuters most complaints about dicamba drifting would stop if the Environmental Protection Agency restricted its use to killing weeds in fields before crops are planted.
Last year, drift issues from dicamba herbicides sprayed on resistant fields damaged an estimated 3.6 million acres, or four percent of all U.S. plantings. Last month, the University of Missouri estimated one million acres had been damaged this year.
The move would be a competitive blow to Monsanto, which sells a popular dicamba system for growers. Monsanto counters that complaints have dropped this year and that most damage now stems from improper applications.
Registration for dicamba on resistant crops with the Environmental Protection Agency expires this fall and the EPA is expected to issue a decision on renewing the registration within weeks. Monsanto expects the EPA to extend the approval.