The new technologies will need to be registered in each state and because of that, if other states haven’t already begun discussing the products, they will soon, said Steve Smith, chair of the Save Our Crops Coalition.
"This is something going on in Arkansas that (the other states) should pay attention to," said Smith, also director of agriculture with Elwood, Ind.-based Red Gold.
For boards such as the one in Arkansas, the question of how to come up with regulations that help with weed control while protecting sensitive crops is not an easy one to answer, he said.
"Everybody recognizes, except for the far left-wing people who don’t want anything, that we’re in a situation," Smith explained. "We got ourselves into it. It’s not like a tornado hit. We walked ourselves right through that door.
"Everybody recognizes we do have a challenge. The question is, how do you meet it without creating more challenges? I’d like to think reasonable people can come up with a reasonable response."
Earlier this month, the USDA released Environmental Impact Statements regarding the potential deregulation of Dow’s Enlist corn, Enlist soybeans and Enlist 3 soybeans and Monsanto’s Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans and Bollgard II XtendFlex cotton. The agency said its preferred alternative is to deregulate all the plants.
The U.S. EPA is also reviewing the use of 2,4-D and dicamba and is assessing the potential for environmental and human risks associated with their use. Arkansas has had some restrictions on the use of 2,4-D since the early 1950s, Howe noted. The state has no restrictions on dicamba.
The Pesticide Committee has three options regarding registering the technologies, he said. It could opt to take no action, which Howe said would allow dicamba to be used without restriction while possibly hindering the introduction of 2,4-D in the market.
The committee could also chose to revise the existing 2,4-D restrictions to "allow for a more level playing field with Monsanto," he stated. "We could (also) try to define the playing field for both on introduction and see what impact the products would have in 2015."
The plant board will make the final decision, Little said, adding he hopes for a determination by the end of the year.