Lonoke Gardeners Blame Herbicide For Failed Tomato Plants

LONOKE, AR — Hundreds of homegrown tomatoes are being dumped in the trash and neighbors say it’s all because of a herbicide used in area rice farms.

The herbicide is called Facet and it’s used on rice farms to control weeds. The only problem is neighbors say when the spray is crop dusted winds carry the chemical onto their garden and mutates their tomatoes.

One gardener said hundreds of dollar worth of tomatoes have been destroyed. The chemical which is 100% legal to use in Arkansas, causes the tomato plant to stop growing or it harden its core solid, according to gardeners.

Neighbors say since there are rice farms all over Lonoke, they have had trouble pinpointing who is using the chemical the most. In the meantime, green thumbs say they are frustrated they’ll never be able to taste their success.

“I am probably going to pull them all up. They’re useless now really. It’s pretty frustrating,” said gardener Gary Weatherford.

Facet wasn’t always used to treat weeds on rice farms. Farmers switched to Facet after another herbicide called 2-4-d began killing farm grass.

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