Arkansas Plant Board

Members of the Arkansas Plant Board meet to discuss regulations on the herbicide dicamba at the Embassy Suites in west Little Rock on Dec. 11, 2019.
Daniel Breen / KUAR News

State regulators have voted not to increase restrictions surrounding the use of a controversial herbicide that has been blamed for widespread damage to crops and other plants.

Members of the Arkansas State Plant Board met Wednesday to discuss new proposed regulations on dicamba for the 2020 growing season. All but one member voted to not require farmers who use the chemical on genetically modified cotton and soybean fields to report spraying records and real-time GPS coordinates to an online database.

File photo of David Wildy, a prominent Arkansas farmer, in a field of soybeans that were damaged by dicamba.
DAN CHARLES / NPR NEWS

The Arkansas Agriculture Department has opened a 30-day public comment period regarding proposed regulations for the use of dicamba. The herbicide has been blamed in recent years for extensive crop damage after drifting on non-resistant vegetation. A public hearing has also been scheduled for next month.