Janzen: Data to Play Key Role in Sorting Out Dicamba Disaster

You would have to live under a rock to not have heard about farmers’ issues with dicamba this growing season. Arkansas banned the pesticide, Missouri temporarily banned and then changed the label, and complaints are skyrocketing in Indiana and Illinois, writes Todd Janzen in his latest blog post over at the Janzen Ag Law Blog.

For a discussion of the problems, check out Illinois farmer Jeremy Wolf’s descriptions of the problems on his non-dicamba-tolerant soybeans in the heart of central Illinois. If this isn’t enough, read University of Missouri’s article: “Ag Industry, do we have a problem yet?”

Monsanto and BASF’s public relations teams have been working in overdrive to contain the fallout. Read Monsanto’s Robb Fraley’s list of reasons why he believes Monsanto is not to blame. However, he later took a more conciliatory approach and explained “We are taking these reports extremely seriously.”

Federal crop insurers, who usually come to farmers’ rescue when faced with crop damage, have been quick to point out that crop insurance policies do not cover dicamba drift. The USDA started its owned FAQ page just for this reason, explaining “chemical damage caused by improper application by a producer or inadvertently through a third party” is not a covered loss.

No one want really wants to take responsibility for the issues, so who is going to pay for losses when this is all said and done? For the first time in history, I think ag data is going show us who is responsible, but also tell us the limitations on what we can learn from data in 2017.

Want to read the rest of attorney Todd Janzen’s dispatch on dicamba and Big Data? Head on over to the Janzen Ag Law Blog…

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