Missouri Ruralist logo

Apply new dicamba formulations correctly in 2018 — the EPA is watching.

Mindy Ward, Editor, Missouri Ruralist

November 17, 2017

3 Min Read
DICAMBA DEADLINES: Missouri has issued its 24c Special Local Need label for Engenia. It will cut off spray times at June 1 in the Bootheel and July 15 for the rest of the state.

Missouri farmers wanting to use the low-volatility dicamba formulation in BASF’s Engenia will need to pay attention to the calendar, as the Missouri Department of Agriculture issued a special local need label for the product restricting use.

“We want to do things differently to prevent a repeat of 2017,” Missouri Department of Agriculture Director Chris Chinn said in an earlier interview regarding the status of the 24c Special Local Need label.

In October, the U.S. EPA issued additional clarification to Engenia, FeXapan and XtendiMax dicamba labels to tighten application procedures. EPA established the three herbicides as restricted-use products (RUP). The move came after states like Missouri saw their numbers of dicamba-related complaints top 300.

“I think it is important for farmers and ranchers to remember that we are only on a two-year temp registration from EPA on this new dicamba formulation,” Chinn said. “So the EPA is watching. 2018 is year 2; it is important now more than ever to follow labels,” adding that how agriculture and agricultural business responds will determine the fate of this new technology.

Application timing
The 24c Special Local Need label halts applications on June 1 in the state’s southeast region, which includes the Bootheel counties of Dunklin, Pemiscot, New Madrid, Stoddard, Scott, Mississippi, Butler, Ripley, Bollinger and Cape Girardeau.

All other areas of Missouri will need to cease spraying July 15.

Also, the product cannot be applied before 7:30 a.m. or after 5:30 p.m.

The restrictions were determined based upon feedback Chinn and her department received from stakeholders and analysis of alleged crop injury complaints filed during the 2017 growing season.

“Through countless conversations and meetings, we were able to reach a compromise — one that is proactive and provides certainty for farmers as they make their decisions for 2018,” Chinn said. The process included input from growers, researchers, industry partners, and farm and commodity organizations.

But not just anyone can apply the product.

Certified applicators only
According to the special local need label, Engenia will only be sold and used by certified applicators. Those certified applicators must complete mandatory dicamba training provided by the University of Missouri Extension. Rob Kallenbach, University of Missouri assistant dean, Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension, said those training programs are in the works. He said the university is collecting materials and developing dates for winter training sessions. Kallenbach said there is likely to be an online component to the training. In order to purchase Engenia, applicators must present training verification to the retailer, pesticide dealer or distributor.

“Education is key,” Chinn said. “We need to have everyone applying these products in the correct manner as stated on the label.”

Before heading to the field, certified applicators must complete an online form prior to each application.

“Our intent in issuing the special local need label is to protect this technology for the future,” Chinn said. “We thoroughly reviewed the new label restrictions agreed upon by EPA and the registrants, and as much research data as possible, to come to this decision that I believe will protect the product and the producers.”

About the Author(s)

Mindy Ward

Editor, Missouri Ruralist

Mindy resides on a small farm just outside of Holstein, Mo, about 80 miles southwest of St. Louis.

After graduating from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural journalism, she worked briefly at a public relations firm in Kansas City. Her husband’s career led the couple north to Minnesota.

There, she reported on large-scale production of corn, soybeans, sugar beets, and dairy, as well as, biofuels for The Land. After 10 years, the couple returned to Missouri and she began covering agriculture in the Show-Me State.

“In all my 15 years of writing about agriculture, I have found some of the most progressive thinkers are farmers,” she says. “They are constantly searching for ways to do more with less, improve their land and leave their legacy to the next generation.”

Mindy and her husband, Stacy, together with their daughters, Elisa and Cassidy, operate Showtime Farms in southern Warren County. The family spends a great deal of time caring for and showing Dorset, Oxford and crossbred sheep.

Subscribe to receive top agriculture news
Be informed daily with these free e-newsletters

You May Also Like