Why Farmers Need Dicamba

Chad Fullerton on his family farm in Malden, Missouri

Chad Fullerton works on a 9,000-acre family farm located near Malden, Missouri, where his family farms soybeans and cotton on both sides of the Missouri-Arkansas state line. For many, this region is Ground Zero for resistant Palmer amaranth (pigweed) and marestail. What was once a near disaster for farmers in this region has finally become manageable, thanks to dicamba.

"The Roundup Ready® Xtend Crop System is very cost-efficient and easy to use," says Fullerton. "It has allowed us to become more timely with our weed control applications than what we were able to be in the past. I am very confident in the product we have on the table right now."

Fullerton's confidence in the system is so high that he has become an advocate for the system, speaking to state regulatory groups, talking with farmers and preaching stewardship of the technology on social media. He and his local group of system supporters are responsible for the "Farmers Need Dicamba" signs that cropped up along rural roads last summer.

"I promote this technology wherever I go, to whomever I can promote it," he says. "We have many pigweed problems here, along with sandy soils, and our pre-emerge products perform poorly many times due to lack of activation. We need XtendiMax® herbicide with VaporGrip® Technology (a restricted use pesticide) to keep farming."

In 2018, there were spray-ban dates in Arkansas (April 16) and in the Missouri Bootheel (June 10), which limited farmers' ability to use dicamba in-crop, allowing weeds to flourish in many fields.

"Where we were able to use it early in the crop, before the spray-ban, the fields are clean and look great," Fullerton says. "Where we had later-planted beans and were not able to get in with dicamba before the spray-ban date, the fields look terrible. The majority of the acres in this area are planted to Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® soybeans and XtendFlex® cotton, and the majority of us support having this technology for the future because it works."

By: Al Fava

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