Public Forum

Limiting use of Dicamba good first step

To the editor:

After reading the news this week, I’m glad to see that Minnesota is working to follow in Arkansas’ footsteps to restrict the use of Dicamba, the weedkilling herbicide.

The Minnesota Soybean Growers Association stated that there should be a cut off date for spraying dicamba as well as a temperature cutoff of 85°F to reduce greatly the chance of damage to neighboring crops. This is a great first step for Minnesota as there are still rising numbers of complaints about the damage the pesticide is causing. As a northern Minnesota native, I’m worried about the crops being decimated by dicamba and about what this means for our farmers.

In Minnesota alone, there have been over 200 reports of damage reported to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture from over 50 countries — and the state is unsure how much more damage there could be.

There is little to no control of where the pesticide drifts, and it can have lasting effects on our crops. Public health is also at risk. With the chemicals spreading onto neighboring farms, we have no assurance that the pesticide is not also spreading to homes, schools and playgrounds.

This is a good first step but limiting the use of dicamba isn’t enough. States can go further and they should. Minnesota should ban the use of dicamba altogether. Arkansas has already decided to ban it — to protect ourselves and our farmers, we should ban it, too.

Annalise Dobbelstein