Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
  Energy News  




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



FARM NEWS
Weed-killer prompts angry divide among US farmers
By Juliette MICHEL
Little Rock, United States (AFP) Nov 13, 2017


When it comes to the herbicide dicamba, farmers in the southern state of Arkansas are not lacking for strong opinions.

"Farmers need it desperately," said Perry Galloway.

"If I get dicamba on (my products), I can't sell anything," responded Shawn Peebles.

The two men know each other well, living just miles apart in the towns of Gregory and Augusta, in a corner of the state where cotton and soybean fields reach to the horizon and homes are often miles from the nearest neighbor.

But they disagree profoundly on the use of dicamba.

Last year the agro-chemical giant Monsanto began selling soy and cotton seeds genetically modified to tolerate the herbicide.

The chemical product has been used to great effect against a weed that plagues the region, Palmer amaranth, or pigweed -- especially since it became resistant to another herbicide, glyphosate, which has become highly controversial in Europe over its effects on human health.

The problem with dicamba is that it vaporizes easily and is carried by the wind, often spreading to nearby farm fields -- with varying effects.

Facing a surge in complaints, authorities in Arkansas early this summer imposed an urgent ban on the product's sale. The state is now poised to ban its use between April 16 and October 31, covering the period after plants have emerged from the soil and when climatic conditions favor dicamba's dispersal.

- A bitter dispute -

"Dicamba has affected my whole family," said Kerin Hawkins, her voice trembling. Her brother, Mike Wallace, died last year during an altercation with a worker from a neighboring farm whom he had met to discuss his concerns over the herbicide.

A jury is set to rule on whether Wallace's fatal shooting constituted homicide or self-defense.

This year, the family says, drifting dicamba has affected some 75 acres (30 hectares) of peanuts and 10 acres of new varieties of vegetables planted on their farm, sharply reducing profits.

To protect themselves against the product's impact, the family has decided to plant cotton seeds genetically modified to resist dicamba.

"This is not just a dicamba issue, this is not just a Monsanto issue, this is about how we as human beings treat other people," Kerin Hawkins said.

She was testifying Wednesday at a public hearing in Little Rock, the state capitol, organized by the agency that regulates pesticide and herbicide use in Arkansas.

Immediately afterward the agency called for curbs on the use of dicamba, a decision subject to legislative approval.

So large was the turnout for the hearing that the agency had to move it from its own offices to a meeting room in a hotel. In all, 37 people stepped up to the microphone to explain -- often in voices shaking with emotion -- why they favored or strongly opposed the product.

- Dealing with diversity -

"I'm here to tell you we used dicamba and we had a wonderful year," said Harry Stephens, who with his son grows soybeans in Phillips County.

At a time when some younger farmers are struggling to make ends meet, he said, banning dicamba could "put them out of business."

Richard Coy, who raises bees, said dicamba has had a devastating impact on hives located near farm fields where dicamba is in use.

"I lost $500,000 in honey production and $200,000 worth of pollination contracts to California farms due to the poor health of my beehives," he said.

On the edge of his farm field, Perry Galloway points out some of the weeds -- dead but still standing, many of them head-high -- that ruined several of his past crops.

He has since sprayed dicamba twice over an area of 4,000 acres, and says that "we had the cleanest fields we had in a long time."

He favors a compromise, allowing the herbicide to be applied only once, after plants have sprouted.

But Shawn Peebles, who grows organic vegetables, was able to deal with pigweed by hiring workers to pull them up by hand.

"It is known for a fact dicamba will move," he said. If he gets any in his fields -- which has not happened this year -- "I have to destroy the crop."

"Diversity is what made agriculture what it is today," he said.

"It is not just dicamba (and) soybeans; there is organic farms such as myself, there is vineyards in Arkansas, and we all need to work together."

FARM NEWS
Breeding highly productive corn has reduced its ability to adapt
Madison WI (SPX) Nov 10, 2017
Stuck where they are, plants have to adapt to their environments, responding to stresses like drought or pests by changing how they grow. On a broader scale, crop breeders need to be able to develop new varieties that are adapted to a new location or changing growing conditions in the same area. Both types of adaptation rely on a pool of possibilities, the combinations from which one ... read more

Related Links
Farming Today - Suppliers and Technology


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

FARM NEWS
How ice in clouds is born

Global 2% rise in CO2 'giant leap backwards for humankind'

Green rooves to reduce the effects of climate change

Warm Air Helped Make 2017 Ozone Hole Smallest Since 1988

FARM NEWS
Better rubidium clocks increase BeiDou satnav accuracy

China launches two BeiDou-3 navigation satellites on single carrier rocket

Airobot supplies positioning technology to single largest container terminal in Europe

Galileo in place for launch: then there were four

FARM NEWS
Police detain protesters in primeval forest dispute

Peace brings hope for Colombia's biodiversity: Santos

US imposes anti-dumping duties on Chinese hardwood plywood

Ecological restoration success higher with natural measures

FARM NEWS
Sandia speeds transformation of biofuel waste into wealth

Study identifies additional hurdle to widespread planting of bioenergy crops

Penn researchers mimic giant clams to enhance the production of biofuel

Research aims to help renewable jet fuel take flight

FARM NEWS
China Saves the World, and America Too by Going Off-The-Grid

In Morocco, a blue tourist town is turning green

Mechanochemistry paves the way to higher quality perovskite photovoltaics

OMCO Solar expands to met demand for field-fast racking systems

FARM NEWS
New York sets high bar for wind energy

Construction to begin on $160 million Industry Leading Hybrid Renewable Energy Project

A kite that might fly

Scotland outreach to Canada yields wind energy investment

FARM NEWS
Protest at open-pit coal mine near Bonn ahead of UN climate talks

Coal still holds a slight edge as U.S. power source

Rio in massive share buyback after coal mines sale

First-ever U.S. coal shipment arrives in Ukraine

FARM NEWS
Gay Chinese tourists flock to Thailand for fun, acceptance

Chinese dissident writer dies on medical parole

Hong Kong pro-democracy activists allowed to appeal jail terms

China calls on France to ensure security of its citizens




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement