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These soybeans were damaged in 2017 by dicamba, a popular weedkiller that's prone to drifting into neighboring fields. Some farmers in the state are defying efforts by regulators to strictly limit use of the chemical. Dan Charles/NPR hide caption

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Dan Charles/NPR

Despite A Ban, Arkansas Farmers Are Still Spraying Controversial Weedkiller

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A new study from the University of Texas at Austin suggests that bees exposed to glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, lose some of the beneficial bacteria in their guts and are more susceptible to infection and death. Vivian Abagiu/College of Natural Sciences at University of Texas in Austin hide caption

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Vivian Abagiu/College of Natural Sciences at University of Texas in Austin

Plaintiff Dewayne Johnson, shown on July 9, listening to his attorney speak about his condition during the Monsanto trial in San Francisco. On Friday, a jury awarded Johnson $289 million in damages after ruling that Monsanto intentionally concealed the health risks of its popular Roundup products. Josh Edelson/AP hide caption

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Josh Edelson/AP

A protester takes part in a March Against Monsanto in Paris in May 2016. The European chemical and pharmaceutical giant Bayer is buying Monsanto — and dropping the U.S. company's now-controversial name. Francois Mori/AP hide caption

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Francois Mori/AP

Arkansas farmer David Wildy inspects a field of soybeans that were damaged by dicamba. The pesticide ban is tied up in courts, leaving farmers uncertain about what to plant. Dan Charles/NPR hide caption

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Dan Charles/NPR

Ray Vester served on the Arkansas State Plant Board for 18 years. "It's self-governing, by the people, for the people," he says. Dan Charles/NPR hide caption

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Dan Charles/NPR

These Citizen-Regulators In Arkansas Defied Monsanto. Now They're Under Attack

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Bob Scott, a weed scientist at the University of Arkansas, says he wishes more testing could have been done on the new dicamba formulations, but "the product was not made available to us." Dan Charles/ NPR hide caption

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Dan Charles/ NPR

Monsanto Attacks Scientists After Studies Show Trouble For Weedkiller Dicamba

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Brent Henderson harvests soybeans on his farm near Weona, Ark. "If it's going to be legal to use and neighbors are planting it, I'm going to have to plant [dicamba-tolerant soybeans] to protect myself," he says. "It's very annoying. ... My neighbor should not dictate what I do on my farm." Dan Charles/NPR hide caption

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Dan Charles/NPR

Soybean leaves showing evidence of damage from dicamba. Thousands of acres of soybean fields have shown this kind of damage this spring. Courtesy of the University of Arkansas hide caption

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Courtesy of the University of Arkansas

Last May, members of the Avaaz civic organization dressed as crop-sprayers in Brussels to protest the European Commission's plans to re-license glyphosate, the popular weed-killer sold by Monsanto under the brand name Roundup. John Thys/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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John Thys/AFP/Getty Images

Kansas Farmer Mark Nelson says he's too busy with harvest to think much about abstracts, but he admits that the prospect of depending on fewer and fewer, larger and larger companies for his seed, fertilizer and chemicals is "a little nerve wracking." Frank Morris hide caption

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Frank Morris

Farmers, Antitrust Activists Are Worried That Big Ag Is Only Getting Bigger

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A central Illinois corn farmer refills his sprayer with the weedkiller glyphosate on a farm near Auburn, Ill. The pesticide has been the subject of intense international scrutiny. Seth Perlman/AP hide caption

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Seth Perlman/AP

Central Illinois corn and soybean farmer Tim Seifert loads his field planter with Syngenta insecticide while planting seed corn in 2011. Monsanto has made a bid to buy Syngenta for its pesticide business. Seth Perlman/AP hide caption

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Seth Perlman/AP

Central Illinois corn farmer Jerry McCulley refills his sprayer with the weedkiller glyphosate on a farm near Auburn, Ill. A new assessment of the chemical finds that the (uncertain) risks mainly affect the people who work with it or who come in direct contact with areas where it's applied. Seth Perlman/AP hide caption

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Seth Perlman/AP

A global positioning receiver on the top of a combine harvester at a farm in Warwick, Md., in June. The equipment uses sensors and computers to help drive the combine along the route where the crops were planted, judge the composition of a crop and generate crop yield reports. Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images