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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

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Trump case expected to head to the jury today; IN food banks concerned about draft Farm Bill; NH parents, educators urge veto of anti-LGBTQ+ bills; Study shows a precipitous drop in migratory fish populations, in US and worldwide.

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Actor Robert DeNiro joins Capitol Police officers to protest against Donald Trump at his New York hush money trial as both sides make closing arguments. And the Democratic Party moves to make sure President Biden will be on the ballot in Ohio.

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Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

Court bans popular but controversial pesticide

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Wednesday, March 6, 2024   

A federal court has banned the use of a highly controversial but popular pesticide in the Midwest.

Advocates for sustainable agriculture said the ruling is long overdue. The Environmental Protection Agency first approved dicamba in 2017 for spraying on genetically engineered corn and soybean crops. But dicamba is highly prone to drifting, which makes it hard for farmers to control where it winds up.

George Naylor, former board President of National Family Farm Coalition and an organic farmer Churdan, Iowa, farmed corn and soybeans conventionally for 40 years until he noticed the unintended effects dicamba was having on his crops.

"I used to use dicamba. I could see when, after a rain, how it washed off of a cornfield into my soybeans and hurt my soybeans," Naylor recounted. "I'd say it's a very dangerous chemical, and it can be easily moved through groundwater and surface water."

The N-F-F-C was a plaintiff in the case. A subsequent EPA ruling, however, allowed existing stocks of XtendiMax, Engenia and Tavium to be applied in 2024 directly onto crops as long as the pesticides were labeled, packaged, and released for shipment before the court's February 6 decision.

Naylor pointed out beyond the environmental and health concerns of using dicamba, there were also financial considerations prompting his switch to organic farming.

"I could see my soil deteriorating and I also looked at the price of what herbicide was going to cost me one year, and I go, 'Jeepers creepers,'" Naylor recalled. "Herbicides weren't working, anyway, very well - so I'd just as well try organic, which is what I wanted to do from the very first day I started farming."

The Center for Food Safety estimates dicamba has affected as many as one in six acres of ultrasensitive soybeans.


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