(Updated Feb. 19, 2018)
Dicamba is a powerful and volatile herbicide that has a tendency to move offsite, reducing other farmers’ crop yields. For this reason, dicamba was not approved for on-crop use until late 2016, after Monsanto and German chemical company BASF developed new formulations of the herbicide that would (ostensibly) be less prone to volatilize.
Farmers are filing lawsuits seeking compensation for losses caused by dicamba.
But despite these new formulations, dicamba misuse complaints are piling up in 21 states, most prominently in Arkansas and Missouri. One possible explanation is that many farmers still use the old formulations of dicamba (brand names: Banvel, Diablo, Oracle, and Vanquish), which are not approved for on-crop use. Another theory is that the new formulations of dicamba are no safer than the old ones.
Whatever the reason, farmers in more than 20 states are suffering heavy losses to their crops, and the volatile herbicide dicamba appears to be responsible. As a result, many farmers have filed lawsuits against herbicide manufacturers seeking compensation for their losses.
Farmers Seek Justice through Lawsuits
While local authorities have leveled some fines against farmers who misuse dicamba, these fines often run from just $200 to $1,000—a meager number that pales in comparison to the damage done by dicamba misuse. (In some cases, the culpable party just received a warning.) According to Modern Farmer, farmers impacted by dicamba will lose an estimated 10 to 30 percent of their annual crop yield.
These lawsuits are not filed against neighboring farmers, but rather herbicide manufacturers like Monsanto, DuPont, and BASF.
Experts estimate that dicamba has already adversely affected more than 3 million acres of farmland.
Because these fines are so minimal, and because Monsanto and BASF are unlikely to face criminal charges, many farmers in Arkansas and neighboring states have filed lawsuits seeking restitution for the damage done to their crops or reduced crop yields.
These lawsuits are not aimed against their neighboring farmers, but rather herbicide manufacturers like Monsanto, DuPont, and BASF.
In November 2017, attorney Rene Rocha filed a motion to consolidate dicamba lawsuits into a multi-district litigation (MDL). In February 2018, that motion was approved.
Monsanto’s Checkered Legal Past
Monsanto—which produces the dicamba product XtendiMax—is no stranger to controversy or litigation.
Since the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) found that glyphosate was a probable carcinogen in March 2015, hundreds of Roundup users suffering from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma have filed lawsuits against the company.
Hundreds of Roundup users suffering from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma have filed lawsuits against Monsanto.
In Nebraska, farmers filed a class action lawsuit against Monsanto. Lawsuits were also filed by a Kona Coffee farm owner in Hawaii and the widow of a California farmer. All Monsanto lawsuits share one thing in common: Farmers used Monsanto Roundup Weed Killer for years and were eventually diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Monsanto continues to fight these lawsuits, claiming that their product is safe. In fact, they went as far as to file a lawsuit of their own against California, claiming that the state wrongly listed glyphosate as a carcinogen under their Prop 65 law.
Dicamba Lawsuit Eligibility
To qualify for a dicamba lawsuit, you must be a commercial farmer whose crop yield has suffered losses because of dicamba in 2017. Dicamba herbicides include Monsanto’s XtendiMax, DuPont’s FeXapen, and BASF’s Engenia.
If you think you might be eligible, please contact us for a free, no-obligation legal consultation. You pay nothing unless we recover for you.
Signs of Dicamba Crop Damage
According to the Purdue Plant & Pest Diagnostic Laboratory, signs of dicamba crop damage may include:
- Twisted leaves
- Upward cupping on leaves
- Narrow, strap-like leaves on the youngest growth
- Aboveground roots on the stems of some annual flowers
The Purdue laboratory notes that these types of herbicide are “quite prone to drift and volatilization.” Its report also emphasizes that several other culprits can cause similar types of damage, so be sure to rule out the following potential causes before determining that dicamba is responsible:
- Mite, insect, or disease damage
- Adverse weather
- Soil compaction
- Root stress
- Improper soil pH
- Misapplied fertilizers
- Genetic mutations
- Road salt
If you know that none of the above factors is to blame for your crop damage or yield loss, you might be eligible for a dicamba lawsuit.
We Fight for Farmers
Our attorneys have recovered more than $5 billion in damages for our clients. We are one of the top consumer protection firms in the country, with more than 350 attorneys on hand, but we do not represent large companies.
If your crop yield took a hit because of dicamba, we can hold the responsible parties accountable. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation. There are never any costs unless we win a jury award or settlement.