There has been growing concern voiced among academics regarding dicamba damage to soybean crops.
Specifically, dicamba is a herbicide that is used to control weed growth among crops. This is having a dramatic effect in the US where they are seeing unprecedented outcries from farmers and academics alike that are seeing their yields of soybeans affected by dicamba.
Soybeans are not a robust crop type to start with and typically farmers struggle with crop damage without the herbicide they are using causing a continuation of the damage. What is especially troubling is that these responses are coming from farmers using soybeans that are supposedly dicamba resistant and have been marketed as so.
This is drawing quite a fiery debate with farmers and academics on one side and pitted against them the big agricultural giants that sell the specially formulated dicamba resistant soybeans.
The agricultural manufacturers struck out first citing 4 arguments against there being any substantial damage to the soybean harvest.
First, they cite the harvest reports filed for the state of Illinois and say that any lost crop as a result of dicamba is “negligible”.
Second, any conclusion should only be drawn after a thorough investigation and any conjecture beforehand is detrimental to the overall process.
Third, they ascertain it is likely farmers are using older variations of the formula rather than investing in the correct up to date formula and they are paying the price as a result.
Finally, they are fairly confident that yield will not be reduced and it is likely that across the board farmers will see a yield increase.
A leading opponent to the agricultural companies is Aaron Hager from the university of Illinois. He contends that the statements made by the companies is worrying to say the least and puts forward arguments for each point they have made.
He says that lost acreage on the ground level seen by farmers would likely not be seen as “negligible”.
That the idea of conducting a thorough investigation is a brilliant idea and he welcomes the company’s participation, so that guidance could actually being followed.
He dismisses the claim that they are using old formulas as unfounded and finally slams the companies outright for their conclusions that yields would increase rather than decrease. A conclusion he says is without merit.
One thing is certain, this debate is heating up and with neither side looking to back down it could reach boiling point soon. It remains to be seen the actual facts behind both argument but regardless we watch on to see how this unfolds. One thing is for certain, the dicamba resistant soybean debate is not being swept under the rug anytime soon.
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