North Dakota sets rules for use of dicamba

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota has developed state rules for use of the controversial weed killer dicamba on soybeans next year.

Complaints have arisen nationwide of dicamba drift damaging neighboring crops. There were more than 200 complaints this year in North Dakota.

The federal Environmental Protection Agency last month announced a deal with agribusiness giants Monsanto, BASF and DuPont for new voluntary labeling requirements for next growing season.

But states can go further, and North Dakota has. Its rules include an application cutoff date, which Monsanto believes isn’t backed by science.

Monsanto has sued Arkansas over dicamba bans in that state, but a court battle doesn’t appear likely in North Dakota. The company says it prefers to work with states and will urge North Dakota officials to be flexible on the cutoff date if conditions warrant.