Farmer answers needed on possible dicamba damage

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is gathering information on plant damage that may have been caused by the use of the herbicide dicamba. The MDA is encouraging anyone with damage to complete a survey. The survey will be open until September 15.

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“We are trying to gather as much information on this issue as possible,” said Assistant Commissioner Susan Stokes. “Often, neighbors don’t want to file a formal complaint regarding crop damage against their neighbors. This survey, along with information we’re gathering from the product registrants, applicators, and farmers, will help us collect info to assess the scope of the situation. We’re asking for everyone’s cooperation on this issue.”

Dicamba is a herbicide used to control broadleaf weeds in corn and a variety of other food and feed crops, as well as in residential areas. In 2016, the United States  Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conditionally approved the use of certain new products on dicamba tolerant (DT) soybeans.

It’s a highly volatile chemical that can drift and/or volatilize. Drift may cause unintended impacts such as serious damage to non-DT soybeans, other sensitive crops, and non-crop plants. This survey looks to gather information about these unintended impacts to other crops and plants.

dIcamba

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is looking for information on possible damage to soybeans caused by dicamba drift. This is an example of what it looks like. Producers who have this in their bean fields are asked to fill out the MDA survey as soon as possible. (photo from dtnpf.com)

As of Thursday, August 3, the MDA had received 102 reports of alleged dicamba damage; not all of those reports requested an investigation. Those who have already submitted a report to the MDA are encouraged to complete the survey.

If you believe dicamba was used in violation of the label or law, and you wish to request an MDA investigation, you will also need to complete the pesticide misuse complaint form or call the Pesticide Misuse Complaint line at 651-201-6333.

You can find out more information on dicamba at http://www.mda.state.mn.us/dicamba.

Blog Post: Science, Emotion, and the GMO debate

250px-Monsanto_logo.svg5. @FarmBureau @agricaster the truth behind gmos is that they take away the farmers fundamental rights….

4. @FarmBureau @agricaster environmental companies are fighting gmos to make money..? No Monsanto is pushing gmos to make money….

3. @FarmBureau @agricaster why is it that Monsanto does not have to undergo 3rd party testing?

2. @FarmBureau @agricaster if you would like the viewer to develope an onion give them view from both sides not just a slanted perspective…

1. @FarmBureau @agricaster  this is pro gmo propaganda….

There is something going on here that I don’t understand.  This is a series of  Twitter responses to the story I wrote on GMO’s here about a week ago.  It’s from someone with the handle Death to Monsanto, or @gmomgtg. Let’s talk about these responses.

First of all, “Death to Monsanto” isn’t a credible way to get attention.  How about, “The Truth about Monsanto,” or “What Monsanto isn’t telling you?” Death to Monsanto makes you sound like a gun-toting radical who’s looking to get into the corporate office and start mowing down any human beings you can find.  Not okay.

1. “This is pro GMO propaganda” was the first response.  Okay, if it’s just propaganda, tell me why?  What makes your stand against GMO’s any less propaganda and more believable science?  Please, be specific.  I’d like to know the truth.  It’s what journalists are SUPPOSED to do for a living, in spite of the fact that most of my colleagues seem to have forgotten this.

It’s hard to know what the truth is about GMO’s if you don’t farm for a living.  That’s why Ag has to step up and speak up for their industry. (Photo from abfschool.com)

It’s hard to know what the truth is about GMO’s if you don’t farm for a living. (Photo from abfschool.com)

2. “..give them a slanted prospective.”  I reached out to an organization called Friends of the Earth, who had a lot to say in an email, but I didn’t hear back from them.  I can’t talk to people who won’t call back or email me.  After all, I do work under deadlines.  I’d have no problem if Death to Monsanto wanted to be my interview guest and fill me in on the evidence that GMO’s are a threat to our health.  After all, I have kids that like to eat, and as their parent, I don’t want to feed them stuff that’s bad for them.  Duh.

3. “…3rd party testing.”  Now that’s interesting to me, and something I didn’t know.  If it is true, tell me WHY.  That tweet caught my attention.  Don’t make accusations and then not back them up with the facts.  It ruins your credibility.  Anyone can make accusations without supporting facts, and there’s a lot of that type of crap going up on the internet.  By the way, do folks reading this know the internet is NOT regulated, and folks can post anything they want?

4. “…make money?”  Do you watch the news?  There are people in this country who make a whole lot of money by being professional “conflict entrepreneurs.”  It’s their way of staying in the news and staying relevant.  See Al Sharpton for proof.  And I have to ask:  when did it become a CRIME to make money?  You see politicians on the news bemoaning how the rich don’t pay their fair share?  Why don’t you check THEIR bank balances?  Those politicians have their hand in the proverbial cookie jar, and they’ve made and hid their share of money too.  That, my friends, is the ultimate hypocrisy, and it’s rampant in Washington.  It doesn’t matter what your political affiliation is, either.

5. “take away farmers fundamental rights?”  Please tell me how, because that’s something I’d like to know.  The other side of the issue showed me how it SAVES farmers money by lowering the cost of inputs, for example.  Can you give me an example of how it takes away farmers “rights?”  I’d sure like to know more about that, if it’s true.

In short, don’t make accusations and not back them up with facts.  That’s all I’m asking, and I don’t think I’m expecting too much.  I’m not looking for a verbal smackdown, because that’s the strategy of folks who have no science or facts of any kind to back up their position in a debate, so they just shout you down.  Show me science that proves GMO’s are something I need to be worried about.  I’d like to know.