Investigation by BASF shows widespread use of off-label dicamba in Arkansas
Oct. 31, 2017
BASF says sales in Arkansas of its Engenia dicamba herbicide, the only dicamba product legally approved for use in the state in 2017, were enough to cover only about one-half of the dicamba-tolerant acres planted in the state.
"Based on Monsanto's publicly stated sales of 1.8 million acres of dicamba-tolerant soybean and cotton seed in Arkansas, and when compared to our Engenia sales and application treatments per acre (assuming 1.2 sprays per acre), we estimate there was enough Engenia sold to cover 52% of dicamba-tolerant acres in Arkansas," BASF said in a statement provided to Brownfield.
Chris Perella, an intelligence analyst with Bloomberg, says those numbers indicate a large quantity of generic or off-label dicamba could have been used illegally to fill the gap. Older formulations of dicamba are considered to be much more volatile and more prone to drift than Engenia.
However, an attorney with one of the law firms involved in a dicamba class action lawsuit says other factors may be influencing the low percentage BASF calculated. Mike Smith with Dover Dixon Horne PLLC told Bloomberg News a mid-season ban on Engenia use by the Arkansas Plant Board could've have stemmed sales.
Smith says some farmers also bought dicamba-tolerant seeds defensively because they were concerned about off-target movement, but never sprayed. That would artificially boost the number of tolerant acres in the calculation, he said.
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