Monday the Arkansas Supreme Court reinforced a ban on dicamba products in the state, halting another judge’s ruling that would exempt some farmers from the ban. Justices stayed a Clay Country judge’s order that prohibited the state Plant Board from enforcing the dicamba ban, according to the Associated Press. The freeze on the dicamba ban was permitted and Judge Tonya Alexander said farmers “face the immediate, irreparable harm to their crops” without the product, Arkansas Online reports. This freeze lasted less than two weeks before the Supreme Court overruled. Rules outlined by the state Plant Board will remain intact for Arkansas farmers. This includes no dicamba application between April 15 and Oct. 1 and increased fines for damage or illegal use of the product.
Monsanto’s XtendiMax was never available in the state, but the company says it will continue to communicate with farmers and legislators in Arkansas. “Our goal is to make XtendiMax with VaporGrip Technology available to growers in Arkansas who truly need this weed-control tool, but we need a stable and predictable political environment before we are able to do that,” says Scott Partridge, Monsanto vice president of global strategy. “We look forward to the day when Arkansas growers will be able to take advantage of this important technology, and we will continue to assess the legal and regulatory environment as we move forward.” BASF is also offering farmers information about compliance. “We sympathize with growers in Arkansas who face confusion and uncertainty over recent decisions in Arkansas,” BASF said in a statement to AgWeb. “Growers are faced with situations every single day that make it challenging to run their business. They learn to adapt and move on. We have no doubt they will meet this challenge head-on, and we want them to know BASF is here to help ensure compliance.”