Monsanto Offers Cash Back for Controversial Chemical

Monsanto Co offers cash back to U.S. farmers who buy a weed killer linked to prevalent crop damage, while regulators in several states across the U.S. are weighing restrictions on the use of the chemical.

Reuters reports that the encouragement to use the chemical could refund farmers over half the price of the product if they use it on soybeans Monsanto engineered to resist the weed killer.

The chemical XtendiMax with VaporGrip is a herbicide based on a chemical known as dicamba. This year, new formulations of dicamba-based herbicides caused an agricultural crisis in the U.S. According to weed experts and farmers, the herbicides harmed corps because they evaporated without protecting the sprayed herbs.

Monsanto, on the other hand, claims its herbicide is safe when appropriately applied. The company relies on the chemical and soybean seeds engineered to resist it to dominate the production of soybean in the United States.

In the meantime, federal and state regulators push for training for farmers who plan to spray dicamba next year and for limiting its usage. According to some weed specialists, because of the restrictions, the chemical is more costly and inconvenient to apply. Yet, farmers could start using it after Monsanto’s initiative.

“We believe cash-back incentives for using XtendiMax with VaporGrip Technology better enable growers to use a management system that represents the next level of weed control,” said Ryan Rubischko, Monsanto product manager.

The price of XtendiMax is 11 dollars per acre. Monsanto offers six dollars per acre cash back to those farmers who will apply the herbicide on Xtend soybeans along with other approved chemicals.

Meanwhile, North Dakota announced that it planned to prohibit the use of dicamba herbicides after June 30, 2018. Missouri said it wants to finalize restrictions on XtendiMax soon, while Arkansas and Minnesota are also considering prohibition and restrictions. At the same time, Monsanto predicts that U.S. farmers will double plantings of Xtend soybeans to about 40 million acres in 2018. According to farmers, Monsanto’s offer aims at increasing sales.

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