A further method of herbicide application developed around 2010, involves ridding the soil of its active weed seed bank rather than just killing the weed. This can successfully treat annual plants but not perennials . Researchers at the Agricultural Research Service found that the application of herbicides to fields late in the weeds' growing season greatly reduces their seed production, and therefore fewer weeds will return the following season. Because most weeds are annuals, their seeds will only survive in soil for a year or two, so this method will be able to destroy such weeds after a few years of herbicide application. 
Monsanto claims that any lasting damage to crops must have resulted from the questionable decisions of farmers themselves: either failing to apply the weed killer according to the label, failing to clean their herbicide tanks properly, or illegally relying on old version of dicamba. But weed specialists at land-grant universities throughout the soybean belt fiercely dispute that assessment, leading to an extraordinarily open public battle between university weed scientists and a massive seed/pesticide conglomerate, covered here by NPR’s Dan Charles.