2018 Outlook: Dicamba

Despite controversy this past year it’s likely Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans and cotton acres will increase next year. Monsanto says there is enough supply to double soybean acres compared to last year up to 40+ million acres—or nearly half of the 91 million soybean acres.

Note if you use dicamba tolerant soybeans or cotton you will face more restrictions this year per EPA’s label changes that include:

  • Products are restricted use-only certified applicators can apply and they must have dicamba-specific training
  • Farmers must maintain records regarding use of dicamba products
  • Dicamba may only be applied when wind speed is below 10 mph (previously 15 mph)
  • Reduction in time of day dicamba may be applied (specifics not stated)
  • Add tank clean-out language to prevent cross contamination
  • Increase awareness of risk to nearby sensitive crops by enhancing susceptible crop language and record keeping

These label changes apply to new formulations Engenia, FeXapan and Xtendimax. Several states have imposed further restrictions on the products as well. Below are examples of states that have further restrictions on the products.

Arkansas

Arkansas’s Legislative Council Administrative Rule and Regulations Subcommittee decided proposed rules for dicamba application be held until the State Plant Board revises the rule. The rule, among other restrictions, would ban applicators from using dicamba herbicide between April 16 and Oct. 31.

Before the rule will be passed the Plant Board is tasked with revising the current rule by: using science-based evidence, creating a dividing line that describes north and south zones and including language about ambient temperature and humidity applicable to temperature inversions during night hours.

After meeting these concessions the Plant Board can resubmit the rule to the Legislative Council. The Plant Board is meeting Jan. 3 to address these concerns.

Indiana

The Indiana Pesticide Review Board voted Aug. 30 to place all agricultural-use dicamba products under restricted use for the state. This means only certified applicators will be able to apply the product.

The proposed rule would restrict “any dicamba containing pesticide product that (A) contains a dicamba active ingredient concentration greater than or equal to six and 6.5% and (B) is intended for agricultural production uses but does not also contain 2,4-D as an active ingredient; or is not labeled solely for use on turf or other non-agricultural use sites.”

Minnesota

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture imposed restrictions for all new dicamba formulations. All three of the formulations, XtendiMax, Engenia and FeXapan, are “restricted use pesticides” for retail sales to and use only by Minnesota Certified Applicators.

The formulations cannot be applied after June 20 to help reduce the potential for volatility and movement. MDA notes that the majority of Minnesota soybeans are still in the vegetative growth stage by June 20, and research has shown that plants in the vegetative stage are less affected than those in the reproductive stage.

They also now cannot be applied if air temperatures in fields are above 85°F, or if the National Weather Service’s forecasted high temperature for the nearest available location exceeds 85°F.

Missouri

The Missouri Department of Ag released restricted use labels for Engenia, FeXapan and Xtendimax dicamba herbicides after issuing more than $145,000 in fines this past year.

The restrictions call for application only by certified applicators with required training, applicators must complete an online dicamba notice of application daily before applying the product, cannot apply dicamba before 7:30 a.m. or after 5:30 p.m. and issues an application cutoff date. Farmers in Dunklin, Pemiscot, New Madrid, Stoddard, Scott, Mississippi, Butler, Ripley, Bollinger and Cape Girardeau counties cannot use the product after June 1, 2018. All other counties must stop use after July 15, 2018.

North Dakota

The North Dakota Department of Agriculture (NDDA) added these restrictions to reduce risk of off-target movement.

Formulations affected include Xtendimax, Engenia and FeXapan—it does not affect generic versions of dicamba. These regulations are on top of new EPA label changes specifically for this state.

New use requirements include:

  • June 30 or first bloom (whichever comes first) application cutoff
  • No application if actual or forecasted temperature is over 85° F
  • Applications must be after one hour after sunrise to one hour before sunset
  • Sprayer speed limit of 12 miles per hour or less
  • Applicators must notify NDDA and include contact info, certification type, date, time and location of application
  • All applicators must complete dicamba-specific training course
  • Minimum of 15 gallons of spray solution per acre
  • No applications using 80-degree or less nozzles

Tennessee

The Department of Agriculture in Tennessee is mulling new rules for dicamba herbicides. The group is seeking a Special Local Needs label to restrict use of new formulations.

If approved the state will require certified applicators to complete dicamba-specific training through the University of Tennessee Extension or dicamba manufacturers, apply product between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. and use a hooded sprayer for all applications from July 15 to Oct. 1.

Tennessee is also trying to prohibit application of generic formulations from May 15 to Oct. 1.

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