Miracle weed killer is devastating farms

In the Washington Post

EDITOR’s NOTE: One of the primary purposes of integrated pest management is to prevent pesticide resistance. Unfortunately, as Northeastern IPM Center Director Steve Young says, “the trend in industry, regulatory, policy, and even academia over the past several decades has been a focus on technology aimed at simplifying production practices,” resulting in “fewer and fewer options.” The looming controversy over dicamba use is a prime example. I’ve been reading articles in Delta and Southeast Farm Press over the past several months that show that use of the most recent release of dicamba has torn the agricultural community apart, pitting neighbor against neighbor. Some farmers have resigned themselves to switching to dicamba-resistant soybeans just to stay in business. The story below, continued in the Washington Post, highlights some of the issues that have been related in the news during the past year and emphasize the importance of a varied pest management program.

article by Caitlin Dewey, Washington Post

Clay Mayes slams on the brakes of his Chevy Silverado and jumps out with the engine running, yelling at a dogwood by the side of the dirt road as if it had said something insulting.

Its leaves curl downward and in on themselves like tiny, broken umbrellas. It’s the telltale mark of inadvertent exposure to a controversial herbicide called dicamba.

“This is crazy. Crazy!” shouts Mayes, a farm manager, gesticulating toward the shriveled canopy off Highway 61. “I just think if this keeps going on . . .”

Clay Mayes slams on the brakes of his Chevy Silverado and jumps out with the engine running, yelling at a dogwood by the side of the dirt road as if it had said something insulting.

Its leaves curl downward and in on themselves like tiny, broken umbrellas. It’s the telltale mark of inadvertent exposure to a controversial herbicide called dicamba.

“This is crazy. Crazy!” shouts Mayes, a farm manager, gesticulating toward the shriveled canopy off Highway 61. “I just think if this keeps going on . . .”

Read the rest of the story in the Washington Post.

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