June 20 Cut-off Date Remains for Dicamba Use in Minnesota

Note from the editor: In spite of a very extensive effort to show the MDA that the delayed planting season required some relief from the original MDA June 20 dicamba cutoff date, the MDA did not make any changes. Below is their statement. Even more perplexing, you will find further below the announcement from Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association (IFCA) stating that in spite of their recommendations that the Illinois Department of Ag stay with their original dicamba cutoff date due to a preponderance of caution, their department announced today that the Illinois dicamba cut off date moved from June 30 to July 15.

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is reminding pesticide applicators of the state-specific restriction for the use of the herbicide dicamba for the 2019 growing season. The product cannot be applied in Minnesota after June 20.

The 2019 Minnesota restriction is in addition to those established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The affected formulations are XtendiMax by Monsanto, Engenia by BASF, FeXapan by DuPont, and Tavium by Syngenta.

“We understand that late planting this season has caused concern for growers who want to use this crop management tool,” said Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen. “However, delaying applications in an attempt to control later emerging weeds can result in poor control and presents other risks. If you are one of the growers that has invested in dicamba technology, now is the time to use it because late planting combined with pre-plant tillage can offer advantages for weed control, according to University of Minnesota Extension.”

The June 20, 2019, cut-off date is based on the MDA’s ongoing investigations and informal surveys into reports of crop damage from alleged dicamba off-target movement over the past two growing seasons. In 2017, the MDA received 253 reports of alleged dicamba drift; 55 of those were formal complaints requesting investigations. Those reports impacted an estimated 265,000 acres. After state restrictions were put in place for the 2018 growing season, the number of complaints dropped dramatically to 53 reports, of which 29 were formal complaints. Just over 1,800 acres were impacted in 2018.

This year’s cut-off date was first announced on December 10, 2018. Over the winter, approximately 5,800 pesticide applicators attended trainings across the state as required by the product labels.

Dicamba is most effective early in the growing season. Product labels recommend application on small broadleaf weeds that are up to 4 inches tall.

To manage weeds after June 20, herbicides from Group 9 (Glyphosate), Group 2 (Pursuit, Classic, FirstRate), and Group 14 (Flexstar, Cobra, Cadet, Ultra Blazer) can be used. If you have herbicide resistant weeds such as waterhemp, follow University of Minnesota Extension recommendations on layering of residual herbicides such as Dual, Outlook, Warrant, and Valor.

In Minnesota, the XtendiMax, Engenia, FeXapan, and Tavium formulations of dicamba are “Restricted Use Pesticides” for retail sale to, and for use only by, certified applicators.

ONLINE DICAMBA TRAINING

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture will recognize online training completed by applicators on or after Thursday, March 7, 2019 as counting toward the label-required dicamba training for 2019.  Online training completed by applicators prior to Thursday, March 7, 2019 will not count toward the label requirement.  In-person training completed by applicators on or after Thursday, March 7, 2019 will still count toward the label requirement.

Dicamba Training Sessions Calendar

(Sessions will only be listed if MCPR is aware of any in-person sessions happening.)

Questions regarding training should be directed to the Main or Alternate contact listed on the session.

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Introducing the CropLife Dicamba Update 

To provide support and ongoing information on this important issue, we are pleased to present the CropLife Dicamba Update, a three-times-per-week e-newsletter designed to help you and your operation stay on top of the latest dicamba information.

 

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MDA Announces State-specific Restrictions on Use of Dicamba Herbicide for 2019

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) announced a state-specific restriction for the use of the herbicide dicamba in Minnesota for the 2019 growing season. Dicamba is primarily used for controlling post-emergence broadleaf weeds.

The 2019 Minnesota restriction is in addition to those established by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The affected formulations are XtendiMax by Monsanto; Engenia by BASF; and FeXapan by DuPont.

The decision follows the MDA’s ongoing investigations and informal surveys into reports of crop damage from alleged dicamba off-target movement over the past two growing seasons. In 2017, the MDA received 253 reports of alleged dicamba drift; 55 of those were formal complaints requesting investigations. Those reports impacted an estimated 265,000 acres. After state restrictions were put in place for the 2018 growing season, the number of complaints dropped dramatically this year to 53 reports, of which 29 were formal complaints. Just over 1,800 acres were impacted in 2018.

“We now have two years’ worth of data to show what measures can and should be taken to limit the potential drift of dicamba to non-target crops,” said Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson. “It is evident that measures put in place last year worked well and we must continue to use this product in a prudent manner.”

Based on the review of survey results and peer reviewed literature, and input from the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association Drift Task Force, the University of Minnesota Extension weed scientists, and the pesticide manufacturers, Commissioner Frederickson has added one additional protocol for dicamba use for the 2019 growing season:

Cutoff date:  Do not apply after June 20, 2019. Setting an application cutoff date of June 20 is again expected to help reduce the potential for damage to neighboring crops and vegetation. 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.

There will be no temperature application restriction in 2019.

In Minnesota, the XtendiMax, Engenia, and FeXapan formulations of dicamba are “Restricted Use Pesticides” for retail sale to and for use only by Certified Applicators.

EPA Announces Changes to Dicamba Registration for 2019-20

On October 31, 2018, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it is extending the registration of dicamba for two years for “over-the-top” use (application to growing plants) to control weeds in fields for cotton and soybean plants genetically engineered to resist dicamba. This action was informed by input from and extensive collaboration between EPA, state regulators, farmers, academic researchers, pesticide manufacturers, and other stakeholders.

“EPA understands that dicamba is a valuable pest control tool for America’s farmers,” said EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “By extending the registration for another two years with important new label updates that place additional restrictions on the product, we are providing certainty to all stakeholders for the upcoming growing season.”

The following label changes were made to ensure that these products can continue to be used effectively while addressing potential concerns to surrounding crops and plants:

  • Dicamba registration decisions for 2019-2020 growing seasonTwo-year registration (until December 20, 2020)
  • Only certified applicators may apply dicamba over the top
  • Prohibit over-the-top application of dicamba on soybeans 45 days after planting
  • Soybeans remain at 2 over-the-top applications
  • Applications will be allowed only from 1 hour after sunrise to 2 hours before sunset
  • In counties where endangered species may exist, the downwind buffer will remain at 110 feet and there will be a new 57-foot buffer around the other sides of the field (the 110-foot downwind buffer applies to all applications, not just in counties where endangered species may exist)
  • Clarify training period for 2019 and beyond, ensuring consistency across all three products
  • Enhanced tank clean out instructions for the entire system
  • Enhanced label to improve applicator awareness on the impact of low pH’s on the potential volatility of dicamba
  • Label clean up and consistency to improve compliance and enforceability

The registration for all dicamba products will automatically expire on December 20, 2020, unless EPA further extends it. EPA has reviewed substantial amounts of new information and concluded that the continued registration of these dicamba products meets FIFRA’s registration standards. The Agency has also determined that extending these registrations with the new safety measures will not affect endangered species. READ MORE. (EPA)