With the help of the federal government, Monsanto is set to make things worse.
Last year's farm season was the first year Monsanto’s newly approved XtendiMax pesticide was used. Crop damage was so bad that multiple states had to step in and take action to protect their farmers. Why? Because, as revealed below, U.S. agriculture has rarely if ever seen such a dramatic and disastrous season as 2017, the result of our government regulators failing to protect farmers and the environment—instead doing the bidding of chemical companies.
Dicamba and Monsanto’s XtendiMax
Monsanto's "new" pesticide is actually just an old pesticide with a new twist: dicamba, a pesticide more than 50 years old, intended for use on Monsanto's new genetically engineered dicamba-resistant corn and soybeans. Dicamba has been sold in various forms since 1967 and used primarily with cereal crops like corn and wheat, which can tolerate small doses of it. However, its notorious propensity to drift made it unpopular with most farmers, who switched to safer herbicides as they became available. Because dicamba is extremely toxic to traditional cotton and soybean, the pesticide previously could be used only before these plants sprouted, to clear a field of weeds early in the season, and few used it for that purpose.
Monsanto's genetically engineered varieties changed all that, allowing XtendiMax to be sprayed "over-the-top" of the dicamba-resistant crops, much later in the season. This is also when neighboring crops have leafed out and are susceptible to crop injury—and when higher temperatures increase vapor drift. Now, the agribusiness giant can conveniently market patented GE dicamba-resistant seeds (which are also resistant to Roundup herbicide) together with XtendiMax, as the "Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System."