Dickcissel
Dickcissel
Advocacy

Dicamba Danger

Birds and pollinators are at risk
Dickcissels breed in agricultural fields. Photo: Matt Stephenson
Dickcissels breed in agricultural fields. Photo: Matt Stephenson
Advocacy

Dicamba Danger

Birds and pollinators are at risk

Audubon believes that working lands can work for birds and people. But the increasing use of dicamba will put birds at risk in our agricultural landscape. Dicamba is an herbicide, the use of which is going to skyrocket because Monsanto is pushing its soybean and cotton varieties that have been genetically modified to be resistant. Dicamba's volatility means it can do damage to non-GMO crops and native plants far beyond where applied.

TAKE ACTION!

The Arkansas State Plant Board is holding a public hearing on Feb. 20 at Embassy Suites, 11301 Financial Centre Parkway, Little Rock. Everyone has up to 5 mintues to express an opinion. Signing up to speak starts at 8 AM. The hearing begins at 9.  Attend the hearing. Make your voice heard that permitting the use of dicamba after April 15 is bad for birds and our environment! See the attached fact sheet and Audubon's comments submitted to the Plant Board for talking points.

BACKGROUND

After receiving over 1,000 complaints about damage to crops, trees, and more, the Plant Board instituted an emergency ban on the growing season use of dicamba. In 2017, Governor Hutchinson's convened an 18-member task force representing a cross-section of those most affected by the issues surrounding dicamba use. After examining all sides of the issue and hearing from a variety of experts and stakeholders, the task force came to a consensus that the cutoff date for the in-crop use of dicamba in Arkansas should be April 15. They decided this issue should be revisited for the 2019 growing season after more research has been done.

Despite the scientific evidence, the Arkansas State Plant Board voted on December 6, 2018, to extend the cutoff date and allow dicamba use to May 21. Governor Hutchinson approved their proposal. This started a 30-day public comment period, which closed Feb. 5. Thank you to everyone who contacted the Governor and who submitted comments to the Plant Board. You can still call the Governor's office to express your concern at (501) 682-2345. He has the final say.

Research conducted by the University of Arkansas shows that the new dicamba formulations are volatile—the product can move off target in all directions, damaging 1.5-times more acres than are treated. The high temperatures and humidity we experience in Arkansas’ warmer months can dramatically increase volatility and thus collateral damage. Damage has already been documented to non-resistant crops, honeybee production, nearby trees, duck food, and native plants and pollinators. In a landscape full of GMO crops, the build-up of volatile dicamba could be enough to damage our state natural areas, wildlife management areas, national wildlife refuges, family farms, and the wildlife they harbor.

Help us match an anonymous donor's $5,000 gift to fight dicamba and protect birds and pollinators. Click here to donate!

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