State Plant Board Votes to Ban Sale/Use of Dicamba

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - The Arkansas State Plant Board (ASPB) has voted to ban the sale and use of in-crop dicamba, with an exemption for pastureland.

The decision came in a meeting Friday to consider an emergency rule on the herbicide.

The Agriculture Council of Arkansas says the 9-5 vote Friday morning also calls for expediting enforcement of new penalties.

"The proposed rule is the first step in the process of establishing an emergency rule. The next step includes a review of the proposed rule by the Governor before being submitted to the Executive Subcommittee of the Arkansas Legislative Council for approval," according to Adriane Barnes, Director of Communication with the Arkansas Agriculture Department.

Governor Asa Hutchinson released this statement on the board's decision:
"I appreciate the hard work of all of those involved in this process. Once the Plant Board has submitted the emergency rule to my office, I will review the proposed rule in more detail. I have consistently supported the Plant Board in its protection of Arkansas agriculture, and I expect this recommended rule will ultimately go to the legislature for additional review and action."

Earlier this week, the board reported it had received 135 complaints of alleged dicamba misuse in 17 counties. In October 2016, a damage dispute turned deadly in Mississippi County.

The Plant Board voted 11-3 on Tuesday, June 20, to allow applications of dicamba herbicide to continue on a restrictive basis. Due to a procedural error, today's re-vote was scheduled.

Dicamba is a selective herbicide in the chlorophenoxy family of chemicals. It comes in several salt formulations and an acid formulation. It is a common herbicide used in getting rid of weeds and woody plants.

Click here for more on dicamba in Arkansas.

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