New Madrid Co. man, farm indicted for illegally applying Dicamba to crops

Farmer faces prison for illegal pesticide use

NEW MADRID COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - A Parma, Missouri man has been indicted after officials say he illegally applied Dicamba to crops.

Bobby David Lowrey, 51, and Lowrey & Lowrey Inc. were indicted on Nov. 13 according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in St. Louis.

According to the indictment, Lowrey owned and operated Lowrey Farms. In 2016, officials said Lowrey Farms engaged in the cultivation of cotton and soybean crops on about 6,700 acres over in the Eastern District of Missouri.

The indictment said the soybean and cotton crops planted on Lowrey Farms in 2016 were modified to be resistant to the pesticide dicamba, a broadleaf herbicide used to kill unwanted weeds. The dicamba-based pesticide product was not approved for post-planting application to cotton crops and had limitations on its soybean application.

Officials said on multiple occasions in 2016, dicamba-based pesticides were applied at Lowrey Farms post-planting to cotton and to non-mature soybean crops. Multiple farmers with crops growing in the area of soybean and cotton fields or plots cultivated by Lowrey Farms reported damage to their crops in May and June of 2016 consistent with drift from the use of dicamba-based pesticides applied on Lowrey Farms.

The indictment alleges in response to numerous reports of crop damage in the vicinity of Lowrey Farms, Missouri Department of Agriculture responded to the area in late June 2016. Investigators with MDA requested to meet with Bobby David Lowrey and asked Lowrey Farms to provide current spray application records for cotton and soybean crops.

Lowrey made false statements to investigators and provided fraudulent documentation to investigators certifying that dicamba-based products had only been applied during burn down applications officials said. Lowrey knew he gave altered documents to investigators to hide the dicamba-based products he authorized at Lowrey Farms outside of the application guidelines.

The Indictment alleges forty-nine instances of misapplication of a pesticide, a false statement and three acts of obstruction of justice. If convicted Lowrey faces up to 20 years imprisonment and a fine up to $250,000.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Criminal Investigation Division, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the Missouri Department of Agricultural. Assistant U.S. Attorney Dianna Collins is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

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