Arkansas court temporarily halts the use of dicamba past original cutoff date
Extended use of the controversial herbicide dicamba was approved by the Arkansas Plant Board earlier this year, but has now been stopped, at least temporarily, according to the Arkansas Department of Agriculture.
The 16th Division of the Pulaski County Circuit Court issued a temporary restraining order issued delaying implementation of the 2021 amendments to the State Plant Board’s dicamba rule extending use until June 10, at which time another hearing will be held. As a result of the temporary restraining order, the previous State Plant Board rules on pesticide classification regarding dicamba remain in effect and include the following.
In-crop application of dicamba shall be prohibited after May 25. A one-mile buffer in all directions must be maintained between the fields where dicamba is applied and research stations operated by the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.
A one-mile buffer in all directions must be maintained in all directions between the fields where dicamba is applied and fields where certified organic crops and commercially grown specialty crops (defined as at least 1,000 plants or average annual sales of $25,000 for three years) are grown. A half-mile buffer must be maintained in all directions between fields where dicamba is applied and fields where soybeans and cotton that are not genetically engineered to resist dicamba are grown.
The restraining order was entered in response to a request for a preliminary injunction by the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, Glen Hooks et al v. Arkansas State Plant Board, that challenges the implementation of the 2021 amendments to the dicamba rule. Another lawsuit, OMP Farms et al v. Arkansas State Plant Board, also challenges the implementation of the dicamba rule amendments and has been assigned to the 6th Division of the Pulaski County Circuit Court. The 6th Division held a hearing Tuesday (May 25), but no action was taken.