UACES Facebook Joint Ag Committee recommends in favor of proposed dicamba use/sale ban; ALC executive subcommittee votes to take no action

Joint Ag Committee recommends in favor of proposed dicamba use/sale ban; ALC executive subcommittee votes to take no action

By Mary Hightower
U of A System Division of Agriculture

Fast Facts:

  • Joint Ag committee recommends the proposed emergency rule on dicamba move forward
  • ALC executive subcommittee votes to take no action on Joint Ag Committee recommendation

(340 words)

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Second photo available here: www.flickr.com/photos/uacescomm/34974189223/ 

NEWSROOMS: This version SUBS first 3 grafs to CORRECT that the enhance penalties will go into effect Aug. 1, not July 11; rule is effective for 120 days.

LITTLE ROCK – A proposed emergency rule that places a ban on the use and sale of dicamba in Arkansas is set to go into effect July 11, following actions by two legislative committees on Friday.

At issue was a rule put forward by the Arkansas State Plant Board that would ban sale and use of dicamba in Arkansas, except for forage and pasture applications. (Also Friday, Missouri issued a statewide stop sale, use or removal order stopping all sales and use of all dicamba pesticide products labeled for agricultural uses. See: http://agriculture.mo.gov/plants/pdf/Dicamba-Statewide-SSURO-7-7-17.pdf) Enhanced penalties, up to $25,000 per infraction, were to go into effect Aug. 1.

The emergency rule is effective for 120 days. 

7-7-2017 Ag Committee
TESTIFYING - Scene from the Joint Agriculture, Forestry and Economic Development Committee meeting July 7, 2017, in Little Rock. The committee was tasked with making a recommendation to the executive subcommittee of the Arkansas Legislative Council on a proposed ban on the use and sale of dicamba. (U of A System Division of Agriculture photo by Mary Hightower)

The proposed emergency rule was approved by the Arkansas State Plant Board on June 23. A week later, Gov. Hutchinson reviewed it and sent it to the Executive Subcommittee of the Arkansas Legislative Council for action.

The subcommittee met July 5 and voted to go into recess until July 7, requesting that the Joint Agriculture, Forestry, and Economic Development Committee make a recommendation for the executive subcommittee to act upon.

After hearing hours of testimony from farmers, Arkansas Agriculture Secretary Wes Ward, and others in the agriculture industry, the joint ag committee voted to recommend the State Plant Board’s proposed ban be supported.

The testimony began with comments from Ford Baldwin, a weed scientist and consultant; and Dan Westberg, a weed scientist with BASF, the company that manufactures Engenia, the only dicamba product allowed for in-crop use after April 15 in Arkansas. Also testifying was Terry Fuller, a farmer and state plant board member who noted that the number of dicamba-related complaints to the board had reached 610 on Friday morning.

The ALC’s executive subcommittee meeting opened with Senate President Pro Tem Jonathan Dismang outlining the options available to the subcommittee. Within minutes, the subcommittee voted to take no action on the recommendation, enabling the proposed emergency rule to move forward.

Either chair of the Arkansas Legislative Council or a majority of members of the ALC can, within a day of the subcommittee’s review, call a meeting to reconsider the executive subcommittee’s decision. Such a meeting would have to occur on Monday, July 10.

The issue has been high profile for weeks -- an agriculture story being covered by radio, television stations and reporters that typically don’t cover the ag beat.

“I never thought I’d see weed science get so embroiled in politics,” Baldwin said.

See earlier stories on this issue:

About the Division of Agriculture

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work within the nation’s historic land grant education system. 

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.   

 

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Media Contact: Mary Hightower
Dir. of Communication Services
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
(501) 671-2126
mhightower@uaex.edu

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