Recent approvals for two herbicides containing new formulations of dicamba offer no-tillers more options for over-the-top control of weeds in soybeans planted this spring. But those new labels won’t repair what happened when drift and yield loss occurred during the 2016 soybean growing season, due to growers in at least 10 states illegally using older versions of readily driftable dicamba to take advantage of the anticipated higher yield benefits with Monsanto’s new Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans.
While Monsanto released its new dicamba-resistant soybean traits to seed companies for planting last spring, EPA approvals for the new dicamba chemistries did not occur until November and December of 2016.
As a result, growers in 10 states planted the dicamba-resistant soybean varieties last spring to boost yields, and then illegally used older dicamba products for post-application weed control. In some instances, the illegal dicamba treatments led to extensive drift damage, with neighboring farmers reporting yield losses of as much as $100 per acre. Plus, an Arkansas grower was killed during an argument over drift concerns.
The EPA took until November to approve Monsanto’s new, low volatility XtendiMax with VaporGrip Technology dicamba formulation for over-the-top weed control with dicamba-resistant soybeans. In late December, the EPA registered Engenia herbicide from BASF for broadleaf weed control, including glyphosate-resistant weeds, in dicamba-tolerant soybeans and cotton.
These advanced formulations offers a reduction in volatility when compared to older formulations of dicamba, which should mean fewer drift concerns when label instructions…