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Illinois announces dicamba restrictions for 2020Illinois announces dicamba restrictions for 2020

IDOA kept three label restrictions unchanged from 2019 but added a June 20 application deadline and temperature requirements.

Austin Keating

October 11, 2019

2 Min Read
cupped soybean leaves from dicamba damage
GETTING AHEAD: Off-target dicamba misuse complaints totaled more than 700 in 2019 in Illinois, prompting the Illinois Department of Agriculture to write new label restrictions.

With a record 724 dicamba misuse complaints for the 2019 growing season, the Illinois Department of Agriculture announced new state-specific label requirements on Friday.

Next growing season, applicators will not be allowed to apply dicamba-based products after June 20, 25 days before the cutoff in 2019 for growers who planted their soybeans later than June 1. Applicators are also not allowed to apply dicamba if the temperature at the field, or the nearest available location in the National Weather Service forecast, exceeds 85 degrees F that day.

When asked if the department would be open to extending the deadline again in 2020 were late planting to arise again, Bureau of Environmental Programs Chief Doug Owens says, “I say never say never; it just depends on what happens. We did that last time around, but we’ll just have to see what the future will bring, as far as weather goes.

“Our intention with putting this restriction on the new state-specific label is to stick to that application cutoff,” he adds.

Owens says while the federal label requires producers to keep track of certain data, the new temperature restriction will not come with data-keeping requirements. If an off-target complaint is submitted by a neighbor, investigators in Owens’ office will be able to look back at the temperature forecast for the day.

Related:Dicamba: What does success look like in 2020?

The higher the temperature, the more likely dicamba is to volatilize.

“The whole purpose in putting these additional restrictions on those labels for the 2020 season is to try to do something to reduce the instances of off-target movement of those dicamba-containing compounds,” Owens says.

The label for 2020 also holds three carryovers from the 2019 version. They reinforce and clarify already standing federal regulations about consulting the FieldWatch sensitive-crop registry before applications and maintaining the label-specified downwind buffer between the last treated row and the nearest downfield edge of any Illinois Nature Preserves Commission site.

When asked when his office would be done investigating alleged dicamba misuse incidents, Owens says his staff has already gone out to photograph any damage on complainants’ properties.

“It took us till June last time, and with more complaints, it’s still going to take us a while,” Owens says. “Still, we learned from last season, and hopefully we’re a little more efficient.”

About the Author(s)

Austin Keating

Associate Editor, Prairie Farmer

Austin Keating is the newest addition to the Farm Progress editorial team working as an associate editor for Prairie Farmer magazine. Austin was born and raised in Mattoon and graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a degree in journalism. Following graduation in 2016, he worked as a science writer and videographer for the university’s supercomputing center. In June 2018, Austin obtained a master’s degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, where he was the campus correspondent for Planet Forward and a Comer scholar.

Austin is passionate about distilling agricultural science as a service for readers and creating engaging content for viewers. During his time at UI, he won two best feature story awards from the student organization JAMS — Journalism Advertising and Media Students — as well as a best news story award.

Austin lives in Charleston. He can sometimes be found at his family’s restaurant the Alamo Steakhouse and Saloon in Mattoon, or on the Embarrass River kayaking. Austin is also a 3D printing and modeling hobbyist.

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