As the story of the Dicamba Disaster in the United States begins finally reaching mainstream media outlets, the St Louis Post Dispatch brings us news that Dicamba Drift has threatened Missouri's largest peach orchard (archived). Two hundred and fifty acres of the orchard's peach trees are already irreparably harmed and as the damage continues to show that number could double by next spring as the injury progresses.1
Dicamba has been around since 1942. Until this year it had largely survived in its humble role as that thing you add as a tiny fraction of a percent to your tank mix as a little kicker to beat back broadleaf weeds. What it did, what it didn't do, and why it stayed that tiny fraction were established. Why it stayed the tiny fraction is that dicamba is volatile and the dicamba that doesn't get absorbed and bound will vaporize and spread.
The ascendancy of Roundup Ready in the 1990's inspired much panic. "Genetic modifications AND a super herbicide?" Glyphosate however turned out to be a kitten with the surfactants mixed with it carrying a greater hazard to fauna than the herbicide itself, flora was still fucked though.2
Monsanto opened a pandora's box with their latest offering, because when you offer desperate farmers soybeans that won't suffer any losses with two herbicides those farmers are getting as much mileage out of those two herbicides as they can. Bad behavior becomes mandatory, because fuck that other family's peach orchard which took a generation to grow. Also no one cares about the other stands of mature trees yellowing, defoliating, and in clear decline.3
It would likely have not made things much better even if Monsanto released their "less volatile" dicamba with the seeds4 so long as other people were selling classic Dicamba preparations for less. The competition between agriculture and chemistry is leaning decidedly in chemistry's favor with crops outside of the limited Monsanto supplied corns and alt-corns becoming environmentally impracticable. US agriculture at this point appears to on track to become a fiefdom of tort law in the same way US medicine is by this time next year. This is the story of your loss and imazapyr resistant crops can't come soon enough (archived).
And even in the absence of further dicamba applications nearby it will continue to progress. ↩
But only if the glyphosate solution actually made contact with foliage. ↩
It seems likely they anticipated the destruction and didn't want their preparation taking the blame. ↩