JANUARY 9, 2007 - Posted at 2:57 p.m. CST
LITTLE ROCK, AR - The pesticide committee of the state Plant Board has approved a ban on the use of the herbicide 2.4-D in eight Region 8 counties.
If enacted after a public hearing, the herbicide would be banned between April 15 and September 15 in Clay, Craighead, Crittenden, Cross, Greene, Mississippi, Poinsett and St. Francis counties in Region 8, as well as Lee and Phillips counties.
Growers can make a case for a hardship and apply for an exemption, under the proposal.
The committee's proposal reworks an earlier recommendation to ban aerial applications of 2,4-D statewide. The Plant Board rejected that proposal in December.
The 2,4-D herbicide is popular with rice farmers because the application won't hurt their crop. But the herbicide can easily damage cotton. Farmers lodged 115 complaints in 2006 about the herbicide. Most of those complaints were by cotton growers east of Crowley's Ridge.