Cornucopia’s Take: Cornucopia recommends listening to Brownfield’s interview with well-known University of Illinois Extension weed scientist Aaron Hager. He is “both frustrated and disappointed” with industry denial of the serious crop damage problems with dicamba use.

by Julie Harker

Source: United Soybean Board

A well-known extension weed scientist disputes Monsanto’s assessment of dicamba drift damage to soybeans in Illinois. Aaron Hager with the University of Illinois tells Brownfield there have been 115 official reports of dicamba damage in his state but that’s not the whole story, “Just using that number as a measure of how widespread this is in the state is to grossly underestimate reality. For every one report it’s hard to tell how many other instances have taken place that have never been filed.”

Monsanto’s commercial operations lead Brian Naber estimates in a July 21st blog post that more than 3-million of the more than 10-million soybean acres planted in Illinois are RoundUp Ready 2 Xtend. Naber says given that large number there are “significantly fewer inquiries in Illinois” so “it appears the technology is working successfully on the overwhelming majority of the acres.”

Hager tells Brownfield he strongly disagrees, “I’ve no idea where they came up with that statement. Right now, we’re #3 in the United States in terms of official complaints that have been filed. That number is – apparently that number must have been pulled out of fantasy-land because that does not represent the state of Illinois whatsoever.” Hager estimates 600-thousand acres have been damaged by dicamba in Illinois, based on the university’s assessment and information from the retail sector.

Naber tells Brownfield Monsanto is doing field research in multiple states and has concluded that Xtendimax technology is not at fault – that they are seeing a lot of “illegal use of dicamba.” Naber tells Brownfield, “The one that we do not feel is the cause for the cupping (of soybean leaves) is volatility of approved products like Xtendimax.”

Interviews with Aaron Hager and Brian Nabor at Brownfield.

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