(Bloomberg) – Larry Martin in Illinois says he's never seenanything like it in his 35 years of farming. Arkansas soybeangrower Joe McLemore says he faces the loss of his life savings.

They're among farmers across the U.S. suffering from a pesticide“drifting” across from neighboring fields onto their crops, leavingbehind a trail of damage. Although not a new problem, it'sre-emerged with a vengeance this year. At least 2.5 million acres(1 million hectares) have been damaged in this growing seasonthrough mid-July, according to estimates from Kevin Bradley, aprofessor of plant sciences at the University of Missouri.

Offending herbicide: Dicamba

Dicamba, the offending herbicide, is produced by seed andcrop-chemical giants Monsanto Co., DuPont Co. and BASF SE. It'sbeen around for decades, but in recent years it gained a new leaseof life after the companies developed new dicamba-resistant soybeanand cotton seeds, allowing farmers to spray crops later in thegrowing process.

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