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Feb. 17, 2020, 2:37 a.m. EST

Bayer to appeal jury decision in Dicamba case

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By Mauro Orru

Bayer AG said Monday that it would appeal a jury's verdict against it and BASF SE in a crop-damage case which awarded $265 million to a Missouri peach farmer.

Peach farmer Bill Bader sued the two companies after he said thousands of his fruit trees sustained damage in 2015 and 2016, which he said was caused by a herbicide known as dicamba drifting from neighboring cotton fields which had been planted with dicamba-resistant biotech seeds developed by BASF and Bayer.

BASF and Monsanto Co., the biotech seed company Bayer acquired in 2018 for $63 billion, developed dicamba-based herbicides and biotech seeds to help make up for the waning weed-killing effectiveness of herbicide Roundup.

"While we have great empathy for any farmer who suffers from crop losses, in the case of Mr. Bader there was no competent evidence presented which showed that Monsanto's products were present on his farm and were responsible for his losses," Bayer said.

Write to Mauro Orru at mauro.orru@wsj.com; @MauroOrru94

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