There is massive demand for New Zealand beef and lamb in the United States as that country struggles to cope with COVID-19.
According to The Wall Street Journal, a Missouri jury handed $15 million in actual and $250 million in punitive damages to the state’s largest peach grower, Bill Bader.
Bader sued Bayer and BASF after claiming his 1,000-acre orchard had been harmed by the companies’ herbicide that had drifted onto his tress from neighbouring farms in 2015 and 2016.
Bader sued the companies, claiming they encourage farmers to spray their dicamba-based herbicides irresponsibly.
The trial lasted three weeks and is the first case in the United States to make a ruling on the use of dicamba-based herbicides.
US farmers have alleged that dicamba-based herbicides can become vapour in some weather conditions.
They claim the vapour drifting across large distances has caused damage to tens of thousands of acres of cropland.
Bayer says it plans to appeal the verdict, whereas BASF is still to decide its next steps.