A soybean field in Central Illinois.
Soybeans near Mansfield, IL. Photo by Darell Hoemann/Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting.

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State agriculture departments across the Midwest and South received thousands of complaints from farmers last year who blamed the herbicide dicamba for widespread damage to their crops.

Agriculture researchers estimate that more than 3.6 million acres of soybeans alone were damaged by the weed killer during the last growing season.

The damage stemmed from the introduction by Monsanto of a GMO soybean seed that was resistant to dicamba. But many farmers were not using that seed and so their crops suffered when the herbicide drifted into their fields.

For farming communities in the Midwest, dicamba did more than damage crops – it created tensions between friends and neighbors and raised questions about how state officials and makers of dicamba – Monsanto and BASF – responded to the problem.

The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting has been providing important regional coverage of this national story.

Join us for a panel discussion featuring weed scientists, industry leaders and community members as we delve into the issues that arose with dicamba. There will be time after the moderated panel for an audience Q & A session.

The event is free but RSVP required. Light refreshments will be served.

Sponsored by Illinois Humanities, a private 501(c)(3) state-level affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities with support from the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.

Other sponsors include the  Knight Chair of Investigative Reporting, Journalism Department at the College of Media, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and CU-CitizenAccess, a community online news and information project based at the University of Illinois College of Media devoted to investigative and enterprise coverage of social, justice and economic issues in east central Illinois.

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