Monday, February 17, 2020

Jury awards peach farm $265 million in dicamba lawsuit

Campbell, in Dunklin County
(Wikipedia map)
A federal jury found in favor of a Southeast Missouri peach farm that sued dicamba makers Bayer and BASF after its crop was damaged, Gil Gullickson reports for Successful Farming. Dicamba is notorious for vaporizing after application and drifting to nearby fields, where it can damage crops not genetically engineered to resist it. Dicamba drift complaints are at an all-time high in states across the nation.

Attorneys for Bader Farms of Campbell, Mo., argued that the pesticide companies sold the products even though they knew non-resistant crops could be damaged. Bayer and BASF attorneys argued that there is no evidence that either of their products damaged Bader Farms' peaches, and that the crop was actually damaged by a kind of root rot, Gullickson reports. Bader Farms is in the Bootheel, which leads Missouri in soybean production. Dicamba is most commonly used on soybeans.

The jury awarded Bader Farms $265 million: $15 million in compensation for the damaged crop, and $250 million in punitive damages, Gullickson reports. He did not mention that the verdict was first reported by Johnathan Hettinger of the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting.

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