Farmer Jason Goodman asked Rep. Comer to look into crop losses.
(Clinton, KY August 3, 2017) - When it was question time at Rep. James Comer's town hall meeting in Clinton, Fulton County farmer Jacob Goodman raised an issue new to the first term Congressman and farmer. Goodman's first words were he didn't know if he would have the courage to talk to the Congressman in public.
Goodman complained that Monsanto Chemical Company's weedkiller Dicamba is killing his soybean crops. The chemical can be safely used on Monsanto's genetically engineered crops, but is a special danger to crops in river bottoms. Goodman said that while his river bottom fields might lose up to 30 bushels of soybeans an acre, other fields farther from the river are unaffected. He said his family faces losing up to $300,000 from dicamba drift.
If dicamba gets into the soybean seed, it can damage the crop before it emerges. "So the damage is generational." Goodman said.
The problem is that detecting damage from dicamba can be discerned within a few days of exposure. But plants don't show damage until later - when proof is questionable.
Other states have seen damage from dicamba's drifting from fields where it's sprayed to others where it is not. Mississippi, Arkansas and Missouri have all taken some action. Kentucky has not addressed the problem. Ironically, a University of Arkansas test field was damaged by drift. Dicamba drift complaints up sharply in Arkansas
Goodman called these "historic times" when a corporation can use American farmers as guinea pigs to test a new product.
He said later that RFDTV had done a show on dicamba. Farmer Jim Long commented that farm magazines were writing about the issue. Neither knew if Congress or the state of Kentucky was taking any issue.
Although Rep. Comer, shown at right, raises soybeans, his farm is not in a river bottom. His soybeans have so far been unaffected.
Rep. Comer directed his staff to take down Goodman's contact information, saying he would look into the problem and get back with the farmer.