Soybean farmers whose fields were injured by off-target dicamba movement in the past six years could file claims for compensation as early as late December, after the details of a $300 million settlement with Monsanto (now a subsidiary of Bayer) were finalized Wednesday.
The settlement is part of Bayer’s efforts to settle ongoing lawsuits involving its herbicides, including multi-district litigation pending in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri over dicamba injury claims. The settlement was originally announced in June 2020, but the agreement was not signed until Wednesday, said Don Downing, an attorney with the St. Louis law firm, Gray, Ritter & Graham, who serves as chair of the court-appointed executive committee that negotiated the settlement.
The settlement will make $300 million from Bayer available to any soybean farmers who can document yield loss from dicamba injury between 2015 and 2020. (BASF was not part of the signed agreement).
Growers with non-soybean crop or plant injury in the multi-district litigation are in the process of settling their claims separately and privately with Bayer, Downing said, and the future claims process will be set up only to evaluate soybean yield losses.
The committee is working with a claims administrator, which is expected to have a website and claims portal up and running in late December and no later than Jan. 1, Downing added. Under the newly finalized agreement, farmers will have 150 days to file claims after the portal opens, he said.
“They will need evidence of dicamba symptomology on their soybeans and will need to produce yield records from which loss calculations can be made,” Downing said.
As DTN has reported in the past, legally acceptable documentation of dicamba symptomology could include such things as photographs, state regulatory agency reports or expert agronomist opinions or notes. Yield loss evidence can be gleaned from field yield histories, crop insurance reports or readings from a calibrated yield monitor.
To read more about the dicamba settlement, and who it applies to, see this DTN story: https://www.dtnpf.com/….
To read more about the larger $11 billion settlement over glyphosate that Bayer also negotiated this summer, in addition to this dicamba settlement, see this DTN story: https://www.dtnpf.com/….