The Environmental Protection Agency yesterday revealed that close to 3.6 million acres of soybeans in the US had been destroyed by a weed killer known as dicamba. To understand the nature of the destruction, the 3.6 million acres represent 4 percent of the soybeans planted in America in 2017 alone. The agency further requested the federal government to come up with an urgent response that would fix the current situation. An EPA pesticide program director Rick P. Keigwin said that it’s very rare to hear of destructions of such magnitude. This is a pesticide that has been in use in 2017 alone for top layer application. The chemical was created to deal with cotton crops and soybean that has been genetically modified. These are seeds that have been designed by crops experts to ensure that they are tolerant to weed killers. However, the agency mentioned that the problem arose when the herbicide drifted off the fields with resistant crops to the ones with conventional soybeans. These estimates were brought to light by a meeting that had been attended by a number of representatives that included environmentalists, farmer groups, state agricultural officials as well as pesticide manufacturers. The report had been compiled by Professor Kevin Bradly who works at the University of Missouri. He specializes in plant sciences.
During the report, the professor says that he realized that a dozen of complaints had been made in many states that had approved the herbicide. On the other hand, he noted that most of these complaints all included soybeans. However, the researchers found out that other crops could also have been damaged. This included crops such as shrubs, trees, residential gardens as well as organic vegetable. Other crops that experienced damage due to the herbicide include pumpkins, vineyards, cantaloupe, watermelon and even tomatoes. The issues began this spring according to state officials. As a result, the officials announced that they would issue new guidelines relating to the application of the herbicide. The guidelines would be sent out in the entire nation. These are guidelines that have been signed off by the three companies producing the herbicide. These companies are DuPont, BASF as well as Monsanto. One of the guidelines require the farmers to restrain from applying the herbicides when the winds are stronger than 10 miles per hour. The new guidelines also require the farmers to clean the tanks used during the application process. The pesticide has been in use in America since 1960.