Legal-Ease: Herbicide drifting re-emerges as practical and legal issue

Lee R. Schroeder is an Ohio licensed attorney at Schroeder Law LLC in Putnam County. He limits his practice to business, real estate, estate planning and agriculture issues in northwest Ohio. He can be reached at [email protected] or at 419-659-2058. This article is not intended to serve as legal advice, and specific advice should be sought from the licensed attorney of your choice based upon the specific facts and circumstances that you face.

Herbicides have helped farmers control weeds for decades. Twenty years ago Monsanto created genetically modified seed that would grow into plants that wouldn’t die if they were sprayed with glyphosate, which is a chemical that will kill all living plants. This technology is referred to as “Roundup Ready,” and it created some of America’s first weed-free farms.

At this point, it became very important that the glyphosate was applied properly, or it might drift/migrate to neighboring fields and yards, which would result in the death of all living weeds and plants in those areas. Advances were made to sprayer technology to increase accuracy and to help avoid drifting and the resulting death of the wrong plants.

Through the years, weeds have become more resistant to glyphosate, so Monsanto modified a new class of herbicides under the name “dicamba” with corresponding dicamba-resistant seed. Dicamba is incredibly potent, and the chemical’s composition makes it much more likely to drift or migrate into other fields and yards. Drift from one 40-acre field can contaminate up to 1,000 acres in nearby fields and yards.

Farmers have been relying on herbicides to control weeds for generations. Twenty years ago, Monsanto introduced genetically modified seed that grew into plants that would not die when sprayed with glyphosate, a chemical known to kill all living plants. This technology (called “Roundup Ready”) created some of America’s first weed-free farms.

However, if the glyphosate was not properly applied, the glyphosate could “drift” or “migrate” to neighboring yards and fields, which resulted in the death of all living plants in those areas. In response, advances were made to sprayer technology and applicator “best practices” in order to increase accuracy in the application of glyphosate and other herbicides.

Read more about herbicide drifting and both the practical and legal issues that arise because of it in Lee’s article in the Lima News here: Legal-Ease: Herbicide drifting re-emerges as practical and legal issue

Source: LimaOhio.com, “Legal-Ease: Herbicide drifting re-emerges as practical and legal issue,” by Lee R. Schroeder, June 17, 2017

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