Monsanto moves to stop Arkansas from banning weed killer

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas—Monsanto asked a judge  on Tuesday to prevent Arkansas from enforcing a proposal going before lawmakers next week that would ban the use of a weed killer that farmers in several states have said drifts onto their crops and causes widespread damage.

The agribusiness giant asked a Pulaski County judge to issue a preliminary injunction preventing the state from banning dicamba’s use, while the company challenges a prohibition approved by the Arkansas Plant Board last month. The board’s proposal, which would ban dicamba’s use from April 16 through October 31, is scheduled to go before a legislative committee next week.

The company also wants the judge to block enforcement of a previous rule restricting its
dicamba weed killer’s use.

“Monsanto is presently losing sales every day the ban on in-crop use of dicamba herbicides remains in effect,” the Missouri-based company said in its filing. “The losses cannot be recovered in an action against the state.”

A spokesman for the state agriculture Department declined to comment on Monsanto’s
request.

Dicamba has been around for decades, but problems arose over the past couple of years as farmers began to use it on soybean and cotton fields where they planted new seeds engineered to be resistant to the herbicide.