The impact of a controversial herbicide on crop health and income featured prominently in a discussion panel during a recent field day in Garden City. Conventional and organic growers gathered Wednesday at one of the tours conducted by BigYield on its research farm, where participants saw the company’s latest developments in maximizing farmers’ return on investment. During their panel highlighting issues surrounding the use of dicamba, Randy Baker of King City Seeds said that problems caused by the herbicide’s drift and volatility have not only damaged neighboring fields, but also the fabric of farming communities.
Baker reflected on a forum which took place last month in Saint Joseph, which included comments from a University of Missouri Extension specialist, a representative from Monsanto, and an attorney that specializes in farm issues. He added that farmers using the product are experiencing another problem: they’re having a hard time getting their equipment clean for later use in fields where crops aren’t dicamba-tolerant.
This week’s tours of the BigYield research farm outside Garden City included a walk-through of organic corn and soybean fields treated early in the season with broadcast and in-row burning, seen as an alternative to chemical treatments.