Crop Protection 2018: New Rules for Dicamba Application After Millions of Acres Damaged in 2017

Popular herbicide’s drift-damage problems in 2017 result in revised application restrictions, training requirements and amendments for 2018.

One of the ag industry’s top stories in 2017 — if not the top story — has been the damage caused by dicamba drift in most of the major crop-producing states.

Data compiled last fall by the University of Missouri’s Integrated Pest Management program revealed there were at least 2,708 dicamba-related injury cases under investigation by various state departments of agriculture around the U.S.

There were approximately 3.6 million acres of soybeans injured by off-site movement of dicamba, and over half of the 50 U.S. states reported dicamba damage, ranging from the East Coast to the Great Plains.

Arkansas led the nation with 986 cases reported effecting roughly 900,000 acres. Illinois was second with 245 cases effecting 600,000 acres and Missouri was third with 319 cases and 310,000 acres effected. 

As a result of the widespread reports of damage, the EPA quickly enacted changes for dicamba use in 2018, including making these products restricted-use, requiring stricter record-keeping and ordering additional spray drift mitigation measures.

7 Changes for 2018

The EPA issued several amendments to the XtendiMax, Engenia and FeXapan labels that will impact all purchases and applications of these products in 2018 and beyond. These amendments, as summarized by Aaron Hager, weed specialist at the University of Illinois, include:

1 XtendiMax, Engenia and FeXapan are now restricted-use products, permitting only certified applicators to purchase and/or apply these products.

2 Prior to applying these products in 2018…

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Mark mcneely1

Mark McNeely

Mark McNeely is the former managing editor of No-Till Farmer and Conservation Tillage Guide magazines. His previous experience includes 25 years in industrial engine journalism and marketing. Mark holds an M.A. in journalism from the University of Wisconsin.

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