Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Monsanto Giving Cash to Farmers Who Use Controversial Pesticide

GMO

Looks like Monsanto really wants farmers to use XtendiMax. The agribusiness giant is offering a cash incentive to farmers to apply a controversial pesticide linked to 3.1 million acres of crop damage in nearly two dozen heartland states, according to Reuters.

The cash-back offer comes as several states are considering restrictions on the use of the drift-prone and highly volatile chemical. DuPont Co. and BASF SE also sell dicamba-based formulations.


Monsanto could refund farmers about 50 percent of the price of its product, XtendiMax With VaporGrip Technology, in 2018 if they spray the product on the seed company's Xtend soybeans that are genetically engineered to tolerate dicamba.

Reuters reported:

XtendiMax costs about $11 per acre to buy, and Monsanto is offering $6 per acre in cash back to farmers when they apply it on Xtend soybeans along with other approved herbicides, according to the company.

“We believe cash-back incentives for using XtendiMax with VaporGrip Technology better enable growers to use a management system that represents the next level of weed control," said Ryan Rubischko, Monsanto product manager.

The herbicide is designed to beat back weeds on dicamba-resistant soy and cotton fields but is highly damaging if it floats onto neighboring non-target crops. Plants exposed to the chemical are left wrinkled, cupped or stunted in growth.

But Monsanto has vehemently defended the safety of XtendiMax and has casted blame on farmers for improperly using the product.

In October, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reached an agreement with Monsanto, BASF and DuPont to set new requirements for “over the top" use of dicamba to help minimize drift damage for the 2018 growing season.

Meanwhile, regulators in North Dakota, Missouri and Arkansas are taking steps to set restrictions on dicamba-based herbicides.

In Arkansas, where dicamba damage has been especially bad, state lawmakers are considering a ban on the use of the weedkiller next summer.

Monsanto sued the state's agricultural officials to stop the proposed ban.

“Monsanto is presently losing sales every day the ban on in-crop use of dicamba herbicides remains in effect," the company said in its filing (via Associated Press). “The losses cannot be recovered in an action against the state."

In an ad released by Republican Voters Against Trump, former coronavirus task force member Olivia Troye roasted the president for his response. Republican Voters Against Trump / YouTube

Yet another former Trump administration staffer has come out with an endorsement for former Vice President Joe Biden, this time in response to President Donald Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Climate Group

Every September for the past 11 years, non-profit the Climate Group has hosted Climate Week NYC, a chance for business, government, activist and community leaders to come together and discuss solutions to the climate crisis.

Read More Show Less

Trending

A field of sunflowers near the Mehrum coal-fired power station, wind turbines and high-voltage lines in the Peine district of Germany on Aug. 3, 2020. Julian Stratenschulte / picture alliance via Getty Images

By Elliot Douglas

The coronavirus pandemic has altered economic priorities for governments around the world. But as wildfires tear up the west coast of the United States and Europe reels after one of its hottest summers on record, tackling climate change remains at the forefront of economic policy.

Read More Show Less
Monarch butterflies in Mexico's Oyamel forest in Michoacan, Mexico after migrating from Canada. Luis Acosta / AFP / Getty Images

By D. André Green II

One of nature's epic events is underway: Monarch butterflies' fall migration. Departing from all across the United States and Canada, the butterflies travel up to 2,500 miles to cluster at the same locations in Mexico or along the Pacific Coast where their great-grandparents spent the previous winter.

Read More Show Less
The 30th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony on Sept. 17 introduced ten new Ig Nobel Prize winners, each intended to make people "laugh then think." Improbable Research / YouTube

The annual Ig Nobel prizes were awarded Thursday by the science humor magazine Annals of Improbable Research for scientific experiments that seem somewhat absurd, but are also thought-provoking. This was the 30th year the awards have been presented, but the first time they were not presented at Harvard University. Instead, they were delivered in a 75-minute pre-recorded ceremony.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch