Monsanto has asked a judge to prevent Arkansas lawmakers from banning the use of the weed killer, dicamba. It's been around for decades, but farmers in Missouri and several other states have said the chemical drifts onto their crops and causes widespread damage.
The Missouri-based agribusiness asked a Pulaski County judge to issue a preliminary injunction preventing the Arkansas from banning dicamba's use while the company challenges a prohibition approved by the Arkansas Plant Board last month.
The board's proposal, which would ban dicamba's use from April 16 through Oct. 31, is scheduled to go before a legislative committee next week. The company also wants the judge to block enforcement of a previous rule restricting its dicamba weed killer's use.
Monsanto has said the ban will deprive farmers of a needed tool and that an injunction is needed to avoid confusion while the judge considers its claims that the regulatory panel exceeded its authority.
A spokeswoman for the state Agriculture Department declined to comment on Monsanto's request.
Problems arose over the past couple of years as farmers began to use it on soybean and cotton fields where they planted new seeds engineered to be resistant to the herbicide. Because it can easily evaporate after being applied, the chemical sometimes settles on neighboring fields. The state earlier this year approved a temporary ban on the herbicide's sale and use, and has received nearly 1,000 complaints about dicamba this year.