MORRILTON, Ark. — An Arkansas task force has recommended limiting the in-crop use of an herbicide.

The task force’s recommendation suggests halting the spraying of the dicamba herbicide by April 15, which is after plants emerge from the soil.

David Wildy, a Manila farmer on the task force, pushed for the April deadline the task force meeting Thursday, saying the agriculture community is giving itself a “black eye” by using a product that is harming trees and gardens well away from crops and fields.

Most Arkansas crops are planted in May, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported. The April deadline would defeat the purpose of using the herbicide for in-crop use this year.

Weed scientists with the University of Arkansas’ Agriculture Division have said volatilization is to blame for the state’s issues.

The recommendation will now go to the Arkansas Plant Board and Gov. Asa Hutchinson. It could also go to lawmakers if there are proposed changes to the current state law.

The state implemented an emergency, 120-day ban on the sale and use of the herbicide after a wave of complaints about the damage to vegetables as well as vegetation susceptible to the herbicide.

The state had received 950 herbicide complaints as of Wednesday. That’s compared to the two dozen from last year.

Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette,

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