Dicamba decision

The future of dicamba use is once again in ques­tion after the EPA issued a revised report on the herbi­cide’s risks in August. The agency is now seeking public comment by Oct. 17 for consideration in making an interim decision about dicamba’s registration in 2023.

The EPA’s most recent ecological risk assessment said that dicamba potentially adversely affects birds, mam­mals, bees, freshwater fish and aquatic vascular plants with the “primary risk of concern” for non-target plants through spray drift and volatilization. In addition, the agency said it found no evidence new measures put in place have helped reduce off-target incidents.

“Despite the control measures implemented in EPA’s October 2020 dicamba registration decision, the 2021 incident reports showed little change in number, severity or geographic extent of dicamba-related incidents when compared to the reports it received before the 2020 con­trol measures,” the agency said. “EPA is currently working with states and affected stakeholders to gather available incident information for the 2022 growing season.”

Draft risk assessments are part of EPA’s routine registra­tion review process, which dicamba is now undergoing. EPA said it is evaluating whether over-the-top dicamba “can be used in a manner that does not pose unreason­able risks” to non-target crops and other plants or to listed species and their designated habitats. EPA is also looking at non-approved over-the-top dicamba formula­tions, which are often applied prior to planting to control existing vegetation or early post emergence in corn.

Products approved for over-the-top use in dicamba-tol­erant crops include XtendiMax with VaporGrip Technol­ogy, Engenia, and Tavium Plus VaporGrip Technology. Dicamba is also an active ingredient in a range of other agricultural and non-agriculture weed control products.

To read EPA’s full risk assessment and submit com­ments, visit online at bit.ly/dicamba_review.

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Celebration of cooperation

GoldenCity Wagon MFA7320Like many MFA locations in the early years, Produce Exchange No. 299 in Golden City, Mo., was literally a “produce exchange” where farmers could market their products in addition to purchasing farm supplies. At the centennial celebration, longtime member Mike Queen displayed this vintage wagon that his grandfather used to haul eggs to the exchange back in the day.October is Co-op Month, celebrated nation­wide to spotlight the many ways cooperatives create shared prosperity for their members and commu­nities. MFA was organized as a cooperative in 1914 by a visionary group of farmers who recognized the benefit of working together to leverage buying pow­er and their collective voices. MFA continues to op­erate under that business model, with an extensive network of company-owned retail facilities and local affiliate co-ops serving some 45,000 farmer-owners in Missouri and surrounding states.

MFA and its local affiliates have always worked to benefit our communities, making agricultural goods and services accessible to farmers and rural residents in the area. Co-op Month is the perfect time to con­gratulate MFA’s four local cooperatives that reached an important milestone in their history this year—100 years of service. Listed with their incorporation date, those co-ops are:

  • March 20, 1922 — MFA Cooperative Association No. 280, Freeburg, Mo.
  • July 12, 1922 — MFA Cooperative Association, St. Elizabeth, Mo.
  • Aug. 16, 1922 — Produce Exchange No. 299, Golden City, Mo.
  • Oct. 19, 1922 — Farmers Cooperative Association No. 301, Sullivan, Mo.



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Drive to Feed Kids provides 2.4 million meals to Missourians in need

DriveToFeed group packingThe annual FFA Food Insecurity Service Day was staged Aug. 16 at the Missouri State Fair as part of the 2022 Drive to Feed Kids campaign. Together, FFA members and agricultural leaders packed 152,000 meals for families in need.Missouri Farmers Care Foundation and partners, which include MFA Incorporated, announced that resources were raised to provide 2,425,185 meals to help feed food-insecure children across our state through the 2022 Drive to Feed Kids. The presentation was made Aug. 20 during the Mis­souri State Fair’s closing concert by country artist Justin Moore.

“Drive to Feed Kids addresses the stark reality that 1 in 7 Missouri children regularly face hunger,” said Ashley McCarty, executive director of Missouri Farmers Care Foundation. “Our partners stand in the gap between the productivity of farmers, ranchers and agribusiness providing food, and the disparity of how that abundance ends up on Missourians’ dinner tables.”

Missouri’s agricultural youth programs partnered with the drive to raise meals for communities across the state. Missouri 4-H members donated 264,000 meals during their 4-H Feed­ing Missouri campaign which ran January through April 2022 and packed an additional 3,000 meal boxes for veterans at the Missouri State Fair.

On Aug. 16, hundreds of Missouri FFA Association members and agricultural leaders came together at the Missouri State Fair to pack 152,000 family meals for the Missouri FFA Food Insecurity Day.

Gov. Mike Parson and First Lady Teresa Parson, along with Missouri elected officials and agricultural leaders, including MFA Incorporated CEO Ernie Verslues, joined the cause on Thursday, Aug. 18. Together, they packed 300 emergency boxes that will provide nourishment to central Missouri families in need.

Fairgoers participated in the events by bringing non-perishable food items and monetary donations on Missouri Farmers Care Food Drive $2 Tuesday. Through these activities and a generous canned food donation by Woods Supermarket, more than 13,000 pounds of non-perishable food were donated to local pantries.

The Drive to Feed Kids campaign continues to expand through partner­ships. The Hogs for Hunger program allowed swine exhibitors, producers and processors to donate 1,378,241 servings of high-quality protein to all six regional food banks. Missouri pig farmers can still donate to their local food bank through this program. Feeding Missouri reimburses 80 cents per pound for each animal, while Missouri Farmers Care Foundation reimburses producers $1.25 per pound donated to cover processing.

“There are thousands of hard-working Missourians who can’t make ends meet and don’t have enough to feed their families. That’s a reality in Missouri,” said Chris Baker, acting state director of Feeding Missouri. “However, another reality is the heart and commitment of Missouri’s farm­ers to do all they can to help neighbors in need. The impact of the Drive to Feed Kids campaign is substantial.”

To learn more about Drive to Feed Kids, including how to be involved in 2023, visit www.MOFarmersCare.com/drive.

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