ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota is maintaining its June 20 cutoff date for farmers to use the herbicide dicamba, which has been blamed for drifting and damaging neighboring soybean fields.

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture imposed the cutoff for 2018 after getting 253 reports of alleged dicamba drift in 2017, including 55 formal complaints requesting investigations. Some 265,000 acres were affected.

Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson said Monday that the restrictions worked well. The department received 53 reports in 2018, including 29 formal complaints, and the affected acres plunged to just over 1,800.

The only change for 2019 is the lifting of a prohibition on applications when temperatures are above 85 degrees.

The weed-killer’s popularity has surged since companies rolled out dicamba-tolerant soybean varieties to help control weeds that have become resistant to other herbicides.

(© Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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