JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Agriculture announced today the first wave of civil penalties issued to applicators, all from Dunklin County, as a result of investigations of complaints during the 2016 growing season. Civil penalties, ranging from $1,500 to $62,250, were issued for pesticide misuse (off label use and drift).
“It is important for appropriate enforcement action to be issued in order to deter off-label use and protect the integrity of agriculture,” Director of Agriculture Chris Chinn said. “We are in the final stages of our case review of 2016 investigations and continuing our field investigations of 2017 complaints and will release information as cases close.”
In 2016, Department staff conducted and completed 121 complainant investigations. Those complainants named approximately 60 applicators, who were investigated as a result of complaints. In addition, the Department investigated nearly 100 non-Dicamba related incidents.
To date, the following civil penalties have been issued:
All civil penalties collected will be remitted to the school district where the violation occurred.
Federal partners continue their investigations of six applicators who have allegedly used Dicamba off label during the 2016 growing season, thereby impacting the Department’s investigative process. Once the federal partners have completed their investigations, the Department intends to finalize enforcement action against the applicators. Those six applicators were named by 83 (of the 121) complainants.
The goal of Plant Industries Division’s Pesticide Program is to prevent unreasonable adverse effects of pesticide use on non-target crops and the environment while helping assure the availability of pesticides needed to produce and protect crops. This is accomplished by licensing pesticide applicators and dealers, registering pesticides and performing inspections and investigations in the enforcement of the Missouri Pesticide Use Act and the Missouri Pesticide Registration Act.
More detailed information about this issue, Dicamba and the department’s role in investigations is available at Agriculture.Mo.Gov/dicamba.