Pesticide Drift and Your Legal Liability

 

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Image of round bales in a field.  The image is by Tana Griffith 

 

I recently contributed a column to Progressive Forage magazine for the April 2018 edition.  The column covers issues associated with pesticide drift and forage production.  The column covers previous court decisions involving pesticide drift liability to give an applicator a sense of what courts are looking at in determining liability.  Finally, the column covers what you should do if you suspect drift damage. Continue reading

2017 in Review: Legal Developments In Agriculture

 

2017 ag law developments

Image in photo from powerpoint slide developed by FPPT.com

 

With 2017 coming to an end, I want to take a minute to look back at many of the top legal developments impacting Maryland agriculture in the year. Many of these legal developments may seem like repeats from my 2016 update, click here to see. With those repeated issues, we in many cases have seen resolutions in a few, and with others, we will probably continue to see litigation further develop with a few issues in 2018. Moving into 2018, we will probably see new issues develop as we look at a new Farm Bill debate and cycle potentially starting.  You can listen to Tiffany Lashmet and I discuss many of these top legal developments on our joint podcast episode, click here. Continue reading

Recent MSBA Bar Journal Article – Current Legal Views Will Limit Many Claims for Damages in a Pesticide Drift Case

 

 

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Sprayer in a field.  Image by United Soybean Board.

I recently wrote an article for the Maryland Bar Journal focused on pesticide drift liability.  The article is focused on the issues that have existed in previous court decisions involving drift liability.  This issue continues to grow in importance for producers.

 

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Arkansas Producers File Class Action Lawsuit Related to Dicamba Drift Damage

 

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Sprayer in field by the United Soybean Board.

2016 and 2017 have seen large numbers of complaints filed of drift damage in the Midwest and South. The drift damage is due to dicamba application on new Monsanto varieties of cotton and soybeans that allow for over-the-top applications of dicamba. I’ve written earlier about a dicamba drift class action lawsuit filed in Missouri, but a recently filed one in the Eastern Federal District of Missouri. The new class action is being brought by a group of Arkansas farmers who planted older varieties of soybean and cotton that was not resistant to dicamba. Continue reading

After Experiencing Drift Damage, What Should You Do?

 

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Image by Greg Jordan of aerial pesticide application via flickr.com

 

Damage caused by pesticide drift has been in the news a lot over the past couple of years. With Monsanto releasing new varieties resistant to a new less volatile formula of dicamba, many states have seen an increase in reports of drift damages. At the winter agronomy meetings, I discussed what type of liability an applicator might face if a neighbor complained of drift damage, but what should you do if you suspect drift damage in your fields. An injured producer should contact the state department of agriculture to investigate, begin developing evidence of the damage, and consider working with the applicator/neighbor to settle the damage or consider hiring an attorney to pursue a lawsuit in court. Understanding how to handle drift damage can help the injured producer understand his/her rights in this situation. Continue reading

Pesticide Drift Liability Presentation Online

 

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USDA Photo by Charles O’Rear

 

This winter meeting season, I got the opportunity to present numerous times around the state on pesticide drift liability.  This issue was in the news this summer with dicamba drift damage in the South.  A class action lawsuit has recently been filed on that issue and I discussed it in an earlier post.  You can also enjoy the fact sheet I put together on this issue here.  The video of me presenting pesticide drift is after the jump.

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Pesticide Drift Leads To Class Action Lawsuit

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This post is not legal advice. 

Pesticide drift is a concern of many agricultural producers. This summer producers in the South and Midwest experienced damage to crops due to pesticide drift. Producers adopting new technology from Monsanto caused the pesticide drift. This new technology was Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans and Bollgard II XtendFlex cotton. 2 Xtend products are resistant to dicamba, but not the types of dicamba on the market when Monsanto began marketing Xtend soybeans and cotton. The type of dicamba for Xtend, VaporGrip, is designed to be lower volatility that minimizes drift but was not approved by the EPA till November 2016. Hundreds of producers filed complaints after detecting crop damage due to pesticide drift this past year. Recently, a group of producers in Missouri has filed a class action lawsuit in Missouri against Monsanto seeking more than $5,000,000 in damages due to drift for producers in Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. Continue reading