Cornucopia’s Take: Amaranth, a common weed threat to crops, has become resistant to other herbicides on the market. Many conventional farmers have turned to more chemicals for help. Dicamba is an older generation herbicide known for its propensity to drift and damage nearby crops. The recent release of seeds genetically modified for resistance to dicamba has resulted in an unprecedented amount of crop damage, as the chemical cannot be sprayed without the fear of damaging the preferred crop. Dicamba is prohibited in organic agriculture.
Cornucopia recognizes the suffering of farmers as they seek solutions. Condolences to all of the farmers, friends, and family involved in this tragedy.
Weed killer turns neighbor against neighbor in farm country
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
by Andrew DeMillo, Associated Press
Source: U of A System Division of Agriculture
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A longtime Arkansas soybean farmer, Mike Wallace thought of his neighbors as a community and always was willing to lend a hand if they faced any hardships with their crops.
“Mike would do anything for any farmer,” his wife, Karen, said. “If there was a farmer who got sick in harvest time or planting time or whatever, he would say, ‘What can I do to help? Here’s my equipment. Here’s my guys. Let’s go do it.'”
But across much of farm country, a dispute over a common weed killer is turning neighbor against neighbor. The furor surrounding the herbicide known as dicamba has quickly become the biggest controversy of its kind in U.S. agriculture, and it is even suspected as a factor in Wallace’s death in October, when he was allegedly shot by a worker from a nearby farm where the chemical had been sprayed. Read Full Article »