State Representative Dan Caulkins (R-Decatur) is requesting the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) to extend the deadline allowed for farmers to use the pesticide ‘dicamba’ if permitted by federal court. The U.S. Court of Appeals ruled dicamba illegal for use as of June 3, 2020, seventeen days ahead of the deadline for farmers to apply the pesticide used by most farmers in Illinois.

According to Rep. Caulkins, “The last couple years have been rough for farmers. With trade wars, low crop prices, and low production, this is another blow to the Ag industry. It’s ridiculous to have this pesticide taken away after it has already been paid for and there is not a reliable alternative at this time.”

Many farmers choose to plant crops that are dicamba resistant, a product that has been utilized by farmers for over 50 years. Dicamba is one of several tools used by farmers today.

“I am advocating for farmers to be able to use this product until the issue gets resolved. This is why I have requested the State to extend the deadline for farmers to use dicamba if the federal government extends the timeframe. If the federal court ends up allowing the use of dicamba for a specific period, then our state needs to extend the deadline for farmers past June 20th as fifteen days does not provide ample time for farmers to use this product to protect their crops.”

Before the ruling was made by the U.S. Court of Appeals, the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) allowed the use of dicamba until June 20, 2020.

Caulkins added, “It’s critical for farmers that choose to use dicamba are allowed to use it on their crops this year due to the fact their crop is resistant to dicamba,” said Rep. Caulkins. “Otherwise, our nation’s food supply will be put at risk because farmers will end up harvesting fewer crops this fall.”