LITTLE ROCK, AR - A group of 82 cotton growers in northeast Arkansas has sued manufacturers of the herbicide 2,4-D, claiming that the product harmed last year's crop.
The federal lawsuit in the Eastern District of Arkansas seeks compensatory damages and punitive damages, plus legal costs.
The farmers, all of whom are located east of Crowley's Ridge, allege in the suit that the 2,4-D they bought was defective in design and inadequately labeled.
Rice farmers favor 2,4-D because of its low cost. It was the first successful "selective herbicide," able to control weeds without damaging the crop on which it was used.
Earlier this year, the state Plant Board agreed to ban most aerial and ground applications of 2,4-D in ten east Arkansas counties: Clay, Craighead, Crittenden, Cross, Greene, Lee, Mississippi, Phillips and St. Francis. The ban is in effect from April 15 through September 15.
The board acted after complaints of herbicide drift from rice fields were confirmed.
Defendants named in the suit are Agriliance LLC, Albaugh Inc., Nufarm Americas Inc., United Agri Products and Universal Crop Protection Alliance.