Missouri Director of Agriculture Chris Chinn was on AgriTalk this morning to further explain the recent ban on dicamba products in the state.
“Based on feedback and research, the department felt it was time for a temporary pause on all dicamba products,” Chinn said. “This was never intended to be a long pause.”
She referenced the complaints stretching into the northern half of the state as escalating the issue and reports there have been more than 130 complaints in 2017.
“The number of complaints is rapidly increasing,” she added. “We are investigating to find out what the cause is, but investigations take time and it’s a slow process. We want to make sure we are doing everything the right way.”
“A lot of farmers are finding success with this product, but a lot of farmers are finding damage. We are trying to make sure we do the best thing for all farmers and ranchers,” Chinn said.
State officials were in communication with the companies selling dicamba products over the weekend and Monday to work toward a resolution. Chinn says the state of Missouri needs a new label.
“They are looking right now to see what changes they can make so it’s a better fit for the climate we have here in Missouri.” Chinn said.
During the AgriTalk interview, Chinn referenced a possible timeline of receiving new labels, agreeing upon those labels and lifting the ban all in the same day. She said the efforts are being made to get the products back available to farmers as soon as possible—potentially by the end of this week.
“We were surprised to take this action. Moving forward (from last year), we thought it was a one year problem,” Chinn said.
The staff of the department has been walking fields assessing damage, and reports that those fields that were hit twice will be a total yield loss, and most fields will have to wait until harvest to know the full extent of the damage.
“We are working diligently. We’ve redirected more staff to investigate this issue. We’ve been working very closely with the companies,” she said. “And we continue to get phone calls from farmers on both sides of the issue.”
There are civil penalties in place for anyone who violates the ban.
“This has pretty much consumed all of my staff’s time because we want to do the right thing,” Chinn says.