An Arkansas state court judge has thrown out Monsanto’s lawsuit against the Arkansas State Plant Board that challenged an April 16-Oct. 31 ban on dicamba this growing season.
According to the Associated Press, Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza cited “a recent Arkansas Supreme Court decision that said legislators could not waive the state's immunity from lawsuits — an immunity granted under the state constitution. The judge said he did not see how the justices' previous ruling would let Monsanto's lawsuit to go forward over the dicamba ban.”
Monsanto reacted quickly, with vice president of global strategy Scott Partridge saying the company was “disappointed in the court’s decision to dismiss our legal challenge of the plant board’s restrictions." He said the company would "consider additional legal steps that might be appropriate. We look forward to the day when Arkansas growers can benefit from the latest weed-control technology on the market.”
Added Partridge: “Across 33 states, soybean growers are seeing outstanding yield potential and excellent weed control with the combination of Roundup Ready 2 Xtend Soybeans and XtendiMax Herbicide with VaporGrip Technology. Unfortunately, the plant board has placed unreasonable restrictions on the use of this technology in Arkansas”
Partridge said Monsanto has developed “a specific set of custom recommendations and incentives that will enable Arkansas growers to benefit from the yield potential of Roundup Ready 2 Xtend Soybeans this year – even without the use of XtendiMax.” He directed customers in Arkansas to visit roundupreadyxtend.com or contact their local dealer for more information.
The ASPB voted in November to approve the restrictions, following a growing season that resulted in nearly 1,000 complaints alleging dicamba misuse in the state. In October, EPA announced new label language that classifies dicamba products Xtendimax and FeXapan (Monsanto and DowDuPont) and Engenia (BASF) as restricted-use pesticides and requires dicamba-tailored training for applicators.