LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — An attorney is asking the Arkansas Supreme Court to let stand a judge’s order allowing six farmers to use an herbicide banned by state regulators.

The state Plant Board’s dicamba ban will run from April 16 through October 31, the Arkansas-Democrat Gazette reported. The ban was issued after the board received nearly 1,000 complaints last summer that the herbicide drifted onto crops and caused damage.

But attorney Grant Ballard said Pulaski County Circuit Judge Tim Fox’s March 30 ruling exempting the farmers from the ban should be allowed to stand. Ballard said the farmers’ herbicide use won’t be a statewide threat.

“Allowing the six … the option to spray dicamba on their row crops does not present a significant or irreparable threat of harm,” Ballard said.

Ballard’s filing comes after Attorney General Leslie Rutledge’s office asked the state Supreme Court last week to stay Fox’s order until an appeal is heard.

The six farmers sued the board in November after unsuccessfully contesting the April 16 cutoff date. They instead asked for a May 25 cutoff, along with other restrictions, which were rejected by the board.

Fox dismissed the farmers’ lawsuit over the ban, citing the state’s sovereign immunity. But he voided the rule for the six farmers, ruling their due process rights and right to appeal the ban had been curtailed.

“Due process was blatantly denied and the (dicamba) rule should be voided because of this denial,” argues Ballard in his filing.


Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, http://www.arkansasonline.com