By Don Molino
Monsanto broke ground in Luling Friday on a $975-million expansion of its plant to produce Dicamba, new technology recently approved by the EPA to combat hard to control weeds like palmer amaranth and pigweed. The project is slated for completion within the next five years.
According to Louisiana Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry Dr. Mike Strain, Dicamba could eventually be used on some 200 million acres worldwide to help keep weeds out of farmers fields and allow crops to grow where they have never been able to be grown before.
“This will have a tremendous impact in feed and different chemical technologies that will allow us to raise food and feed the world,” said Strain.
“Every day there is more pressure on the US and US farmers to feed the growing world population,” Strain pointed out. “Agriculture is the foundation of our economy and we must always remember that.”
Strain was back in Louisiana after presiding over the winter meeting of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture in Washington. Strain serves as president of the organization this year.
Friday morning, the commissioner met with Governor John Bel Edwards for yet another session to discuss the upcoming special session of the legislature and the inevitable cuts to state departments budgets.