States Tighten Dicamba Application Rules

Dec 14, 2017  | 2 min  | Ep4317

Dicamba has been a savior for many row crop farmers over its half-century of use. Unfortunately, new formulations of the herbicide have created new problems.

Colleen Bradford Krantz has more.

Several Midwestern states have taken steps to more strictly limit when newer formulations of the weed-killer dicamba can be applied during the growing season.

North Dakota, Missouri and Minnesota have all either enacted or proposed limits on late-spring or summer use of the herbicides, or banned its use when temperatures climb above 85 degrees. Arkansas had earlier moved toward limitations during most of the growing season, but state officials are reconsidering.

Hundreds of growers in multiple states have reported problems with dicamba damaging nearby non-target fields. Monsanto, one of the companies with a new formulation of dicamba designed to be less prone to volatization – turning from liquid to vapor – said it investigated about 1,200 complaints and believe about 90 percent of the problems occurred when farmers or other applicators failed to follow existing label requirements.

In response to concerns, the Environmental Protection Agency did toughen labeling requirements in October, and those planning to apply the reformulated chemicals must now have special training.

In most cases, state-level limitations will not affect use of dicamba for off-season “burn down.”

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