Office of the Indiana State Chemist

More Indiana farmers are planting rye as a cover crop and selling the seeds. But experts with the Office of Indiana State Chemist (OISC) says that could lead to a poorer rye harvest and more harmful weeds in fields. 

The herbicide dicamba has damaged large swaths of Midwest crops in the past year. But Monsanto, one maker of the weed-killer, says it’s a small-scale problem for a powerful tool.

The agritech giant’s CTO Robb Fraley addressed the issue during a recent talk at Purdue University’s Dawn or Doom tech conference.

Fraley basically invented genetically modified crops – mainly, ones that kill pests or tolerate certain chemicals.

Farmers in Indiana and across the nation are using more of a powerful, but controversial, weed killer this year — dicamba.

Dicamba has been used since at least the 1960s, mostly on corn. Last year, though, the Environmental Protection Agency approved a new type of dicamba to use on cotton and soybean plants genetically engineered to resist the weed killer.

Don Lamb, who operates an 8,800 acre farm in Lebanon, says the new dicamba has created a problem.

State Investigating Controversial Herbicide Dicamba

Jul 20, 2017

Indiana farmers are filing complaints about a controversial herbicide, dicamba, that’s allegedly drifting from neighboring fields and damaging their crops.

Monsanto, DuPont, and BASF all released dicamba tolerant soybeans for this planting season. The herbicide is reportedly causing problems, says Dave Scott, the pesticide administrator for the Office of the Indiana State Chemist.

“You can suffer potential crop damage and potential yield loss,” says Scott, “because your beans are being impacted by what your neighbor applied to their beans.”

Peter Organisciak / https://www.flickr.com/photos/organisciak/525843127

At least one Indiana water company is warning its customers to be mindful of the chemicals they put on their lawns.

Indiana American Water issued a press release saying recent heavy rains have made it more likely that pesticides and other chemicals would flow from urban lawns into municipal sewer systems.

Once they get there, Office of the Indiana State Chemist pesticide administrator David Scott says they can be hard to treat – especially if the chemicals dissolve during heavy rains like Indiana has seen in recent weeks.