Missouri House committee to hold hearing about illegal use of he - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Missouri House committee to hold hearing about illegal use of herbicide

(Source: Pixabay) (Source: Pixabay)

The Missouri House Agriculture Committee will hold a special hearing to look at the impact of the dicamba herbicide on crops.

State Representative Don Rone, who is from Portageville, recently requested the hearing. He said a recent report shows more than 100 complaints have been filed with the Department of Agriculture about pesticide drift in the Bootheel. Many of those complaints originated in New Madrid, Pemiscot, Dunklin, and Stoddard Counties.

In a letter to House Speaker Todd Richardson, Rone said, "I am sure you have been informed of the problem the Bootheel region is seeing with Dicamba and its effect on Missouri crops. The total ramifications of this herbicide on Missouri crops are as yet unknown; therefore I am requesting a special hearing of the House Select Committee on Agriculture to assess the problem. By expanding our knowledge on the issue, we can determine exactly how this will affect the growers of the Missouri Bootheel."

Richardson, who is from Poplar Bluff, gave permission for that hearing on August 24.

He said, "This has rapidly become a very serious issue." Richardson went on to say, "According to the EPA over 40-thousand acres of farmland has been affected. Today I have formally asked the Select Committee on Agriculture to hold a hearing on this difficult issue and give some direction to the rest of the House."

According to Rone, the herbicide has already caused damage to thousands of acres which has resulted in millions of dollars in lost crops in the Bootheel.

The Environmental Protection Agency issued a warning about the illegal use of dicamba.

The EPA reports more than 100 complaints of dicamba misuse and more than 42,000 acres of crops have been infected.

Rone, who is from Portageville, represents New Madrid, Pemiscot, Mississippi, and Scott Counties.

A date and location for the hearing has not been set.

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