Soybean Growers Injured by Dicamba Drift May Submit Claims through May 28
After several years of litigation flowing from dicamba drift damage to cotton, soybeans, and other crops,[i] Monsanto (owned by parent company Bayer) agreed to enter into a Soybean Producers Master Settlement Agreement. This December 16, 2020, Agreement provides a mechanism, apart from litigation, for eligible producers to resolve dicamba-related soybean injury claims. Participation in the settlement is voluntary. Those choosing to submit a claim for damages waive any right to pursue any further legal action regarding the crop injury.
The settlement is open to the following producers:
Producers of soybeans for commercial purposes during the 2015 through 2020 crop seasons that showed symptoms of dicamba exposure during one or more of those years, and attest that, to the best of their knowledge, the symptoms were due to dicamba applications by third parties to dicamba tolerant soybeans and/or cotton.
To be included in this $300 million settlement, eligible producers must submit their claims, along with supporting documentation, by May 28, 2021. More information and online claims forms may be found at https://www.dicambasoybeansettlement.com
Payments will be based on a formula that takes into account the planted soybean acres at issue, ownership interest, and the USDA/NASS average price of soybeans in the state where the soybeans were grown.
Claimants must submit documentation supporting their claim. Required documentation includes:
- Injury Records for each Affected Field and Damage Year. This includes one or more Category 1 Documents or two or more Category 2 Documents. See explanation of Category 1 and 2 documents here.
- Actual yield data for Affected Fields and Selected Benchmark (non-damaged) Fields for Damage Years and at least the three Non-Damage Years in which both the Affected Field and Benchmark Field were planted to soybeans closest in time to the Damage Year
- FSA-578 Form(s), or FSA-578 Form like documentation, for all fields within the same Farm Number (or if none, all fields within the same township and range) for your earliest Non-Damage Year and the latest Non-Damage Year or Damage Year and each year in between.
Additional documentation is required for situations such as a deceased claimant, a co-owned field, or a field for which insurance was paid. More information can be found on the claims form. If an administrative agency report was created by a local administrative agency investigating damage, that report must be submitted as well. Those producers represented by an attorney must also fill out a special form. A 12 percent fee will be withheld from any payment for those producers with an attorney not on the executive committee counsel.
The website for the settlement includes a helpful set of frequently asked questions. Producers may also contact the claims administrator with questions at1-855-914-4672.
[i] In re: Dicamba Herbicides Litigation, No. 1:18-md-02820 (E.D. Mo. 2019).
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