Monsanto In Court Again As Powerful New Herbicide Accidently Kills 3.6 Million Acres Of Crops

Tyler Durden's picture

Monsanto thought they had developed an amazing scheme to corner the Midwest farming market when they developed new genetically engineered seeds that were resistant to their new herbicide called dicamba.  The resistance of Monsanto's new magical seed crops to dicamba meant that the herbicide could be sprayed liberally by farmers to eradicate weeds and boost yields.

Alas, as we pointed out last week (see: Meet Monsanto's Other Herbicide Problem...), a small problem emerged when spray drifts from those liberal herbicide applications began to wipe out the crops of neighboring farmers who didn't plant Monsanto's dicamba-resistant seeds.

Now, as the Wall Street Journal points out today, after allegedly wiping out millions of acres of farm ground across the Midwest, Monsanto once again finds itself in a familiar spot: the courtroom. 

Monsanto’s new version of the herbicide called dicamba is part of a more than $1 billion investment that pairs it with new genetically engineered seeds that are resistant to the spray. But some farmers say their nonresistant crops suffered after neighbors’ dicamba drifted onto their land.


The agricultural giant in October sued the Arkansas State Plant Board following the board’s decision to bar Monsanto’s new herbicide and propose tougher restrictions on similar weed killers ahead of the 2018 growing season. Monsanto claims its herbicide is being held to an unfair standard.


Arkansas has been a flashpoint in the dispute: About 900,000 acres of crops were reported damaged there, more than in any other state.


About 300 farmers, crop scientists and other attendees gathered in Little Rock on Wednesday for a hearing on Arkansas’s proposed stiffer dicamba controls, which Monsanto and some farmers are fighting. The proposed restrictions are subject to the approval of a subcommittee of state legislators.

As we pointed out previously, the EPA has reported that farmers in 25 states submitted more than 2,700 claims to state agricultural agencies that neighbors’ dicamba spraying shriveled 3.6 million acres of soybeans. The herbicide is also blamed for damaging other crops, such as cantaloupe and pumpkins.

The massive crop damage prompted Arkansas’s Plant Board to propose the idea of prohibiting dicamba use from mid-April through the end of October to safeguard growing plants. The state has also refused to approve Monsanto’s dicamba product for use in Arkansas, saying it needs further analysis by University of Arkansas researchers.

Of course, delays didn't sit well with Monsanto which stands to make some $350 million a year in dicamba and related seed sales according to Jonas Oxgaard, an analyst with Bernstein who described the products as "their big moneymaker."

Meanwhile, farmers are exploring their own legal options with some joining a class-action lawsuit against Monsanto and BASF, seeking compensation for damaged crops.

For farmers, “it’s highly emotional,” said Doug Goehring, North Dakota’s agriculture commissioner.


Tom Burnham, who farms 11,000 acres near Blytheville, Ark., said he hired a lawyer to advise him on how to handle a neighbor whose errant dicamba spraying, Mr. Burnham said, reduced some fields’ harvest by 5% to 20%. Mr. Burnham said he didn’t expect to make money on any lawsuit he may file. “I’m doing it just to make a point.”

Seems like it may be time for Monsanto execs to start pulling some strings at the EPA again...

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Implied Violins's picture

Small 'problem'? Not for these bastards. The word is, 'opportunity'.

Manthong's picture least it is not 6.3 million acres

JimmyJones's picture

I'm sure this time is different and they have humanity's long term intrest at heart and aren't just trying to monopolize one of the basic needs of humanity while also increasing our dependency on big Pharma to offset the adverse effects. 

Stuck on Zero's picture

Time to fly a crop duster over Monsanto's HQ.

Rex Andrus's picture

Short AA and fly some cruise missiles into the major Monsanto shareholders and directors flop houses? Good idea.

OverTheHedge's picture

I have long thought that, in the cut and thrust of corporate competition, it is odd that no one has ever (to my knowledge, at least), taken out a company's top management for profit. You could short the shares, kill the executives, and use the new profit to leverage a buyout of the suddenly rudderless behemoth. Why should it only be armies (and Hilary?) that kill people?

This would be one of the plots of the many books I will never write. Title would probably be "Corporate Wars", but it might be a bit too generic.

ed31337's picture

When the people in charge own the media, these sorts of activities go on but make very little lasting memory in the lives of the proletariat. Often it is not reported on at all, or as a small one-time footnote if it is reported. Afterall, the guy is dead, end of story, right?

Anybody remember the mysterious death of the Scenix microcontroller company's founder/chairman? Yeah, didn't think so.

Money_for_Nothing's picture

"Mr. Junkins suffered a heart attack while on a business trip to Stuttgart, Germany, where he was visiting customers, said Stan Victor, a spokesman for Texas Instruments. Mr. Junkins had no history of heart disease"

Junkins had made some major deals with a large German multinational. Might have been a way to make sure none of those deals could be audited effectively. Or he was being rewarded and died from a good time. Or was taken out as a warning to others.

Two birds setting on a perch. One says to the other, "You smell something fishy?"

Money_for_Nothing's picture

Or maybe he forgot to make his payment to the Clinton Global Initiative.

Bes's picture

fucking socialist!


less regulation damn it! 

for every herbicidal regulation 2 must go! 



#derf #dorp

.........  hahahahha! 


Citxmech's picture

Too bad.  I was really looking forward to feeding my family that shit.


PS  Fuck Monsanto.  Grow your own.  

popeye's picture

Dicamba is a strong non-selective herbicide that has been around for decades. Used to use it 30 years ago on "woody" weeds & shrubs. Only difference is, no-one intentionally sprayed it on food crops in the past.

Citxmech's picture

Betcha the volume used was different.

3.6 million acres of run-off into the local watersheds should really improve water quality. 

MozartIII's picture

When they hang with the bankers, will anyone miss them? Evil fuckers!

True Blue's picture

Hey! That's 6.3 Million™ and if someone wants to use that number I think they have to pay royalties.

Whoa Dammit's picture

Monsanto lawyers will say the crops would have died naturally anyway, frost, annual plants, etc.

Think what that stuff does to people, bees, drinking water, birds, wildlife beneficial insects....

sixsigma cygnusatratus's picture

3.6 million acres?  I guess Monsanto has decided to eradicate obesity in America by creating starvation. 

beemasters's picture

Learning from precedence, however illogical it may sound, Monsanto will likely sue them back for having the herbicide used on those lands without paying. Remember how Monsanto sued a Canadian farmer for their seeds blowing onto/growing on his land?

JRobby's picture

it poisons them. Monsanto is a great example of evil group think which by nature is conspiratorial.

ebworthen's picture

"Dicamba functions by increasing plant growth rate.[3] At sufficient concentrations, the plant outgrows its nutrient supplies and dies.[4]"


Sounds kind of like cancer, eh?

OverTheHedge's picture

Certainly all barley, and possibly quite a lot of wheat (I'm not a wheat farmer, so don't know current practice) is killed before harvest, to ensure sufficient drying out of the grain before harvest. In other words, the entire crop is sprayed with roundup about 20 days before harvest. Makes you think, doesn't it....? You used to have quite a lot of intestinal flora, before you started eating roundup on a regular basis.

Me, I eat potatoes. A lot. Call me "Irish"

therealestg9's picture

"They're putting chemicals in the water, and it's turning all the frogs gay." 

-Alex Jones, 2016.

MozartIII's picture


More than just the fricking frogs!!!!!!!

cherry picker's picture

I thinl I'll sue Monsanto as the stuff is affecting the air I breath.

And the water I drink.

Think I'll sue the EPA too and maybe send them some bacteria infected mosquitos.

Then I'll call Vlad and Kim and ask them to take Monsanto and the EPA  and the CIA out and make America great again.

Cheka_Mate's picture

Round Up!

So completely nontoxic, our CEO offered to drink it.

Then fled when his bluff was called 

puckles's picture

That reminds me of a story from many years ago, when I was still in the chemical industry. A rep from a household word manufacturer offered to put a chelant they made in his OJ, and drink it in front of us, to demonstrate just how harmless it was; that he was a professional born-again probably assisted his spiel.  The product was anything but harmless, and was a major component of the crap used in the aftermath of the BP disaster in the Gulf.  Well, we know how that went.

MozartIII's picture

Yes he did! Lived in St Louis for a while. The Monsanto food campus is 100% organic and non-GMO. They are advised to eat that way at home, at least the higher ups are. Goose meet Gander.

rlouis's picture

Treble damages.

Solio's picture

That doesn't cure the environment or raise the dead.

El Vaquero's picture

At this point, I'm more concerned with making Monsanto dead.  

chunga's picture

Another thing I admire about the Russians these days is they kicked Monsanto out of their country. I read something about Monsanto trying to get in there with some sort of parlor trick chicanery and Putin made a comment that he was most definately not kidding about the ban.

Graph's picture

Different ways to become a mighty Country.

In case of Russia the 'event' in 1917 was a start.

To utter dismay of ZH-ers.

Grumbleduke's picture

yep, there's a corporation in need of massive workplace violence.

natxlaw's picture

Definitely call a lawyer. This should be an easy class action in most states.

jmack's picture

only if you have a few million to throw around at the state house.

JRobby's picture

until plaintiffs and witnesses start turning up dead

EddieLomax's picture

So the problem is these people did not buy the dicamba resistant seeds.

Maybe they'll learn next time.

buzzardsluck's picture

Or next time monsanto agents of good will trespass 'investigate and find' those farmers stealing the monsanto seeds and using them without paying who in turn they will bankrupt with lawsuits.

“Rebellion to tyranny is obedience to God.”-ThomasJefferson's picture

Think of this like spraying Roundup on your breakfast cereal, and feeding it to your children.

puckles's picture

What you may not realize is that that actually occurs right now.  Roundup is sprayed on so-called "resistant" grains right before they are harvested, to aid in the dessication process.  This includes wheat, oats, you name it.  Your kids are already eating that crap, quite liberally, unless you are rigorous about organic food (and even then, there may have been drift).

“Rebellion to tyranny is obedience to God.”-ThomasJefferson's picture

And people wonder why autism, cancer, mental illness, obesity, and all around stupidity afflict the USA....

JohninMK's picture

Just because it saves a few dollars not drying the crop by heating it. Sod the poor bastards you are poisoning down the usage chain.

effing idiot's picture

Yep, also garbonzos, lentils and peas. esp. garbs and lents. No rules against it whatsoever.

OverTheHedge's picture

You said it more eruditely than I did, and you also said it first. I just posted way up thread, because that's how it works here.

carlnpa's picture

Let me make a correction.

It is not sprayed on "resistant" grains, it is sprayed on non resistant grains to speed the drying process by killing the plant.

It is sprayed on almost every grain we grow.

Ethelred the Unready's picture

That's OK.  Soy products are bad for you.  Lots of Estrogen - turns men into pussies.  Prolly Bruce Jenner has eaten too much tofu.  I see that now he's wearing a dress.