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Beware! Labeling restrictions in effect for Dicamba users in 2018

Liz Stahl Dicamba damage 2
Xtend soybeans (left) planted next to a non-dicamba-tolerant soybean (right) that is showing injury symptoms.
Planning for the 2018 growing season means a certified applicator will be needed when it comes to applying dicamba.

Farmers interested in using dicamba as part of their crop strategy in the 2018 growing season need to be aware only certified applicators, or those under direct supervision, will be allowed to apply the product.

The label change reflects an agreement between the Environmental Protection Agency, Monsanto, BASF and DuPont on measures to further minimize the potential for drift to damage neighboring crops from the use of dicamba formulations to control weeds in genetically modified cotton and soybeans.

EPA worked cooperatively with states, land-grant universities and the pesticide manufacturers to examine the underlying causes of recent crop damage in the farm belt and Southeast.

Manufacturers have voluntarily agreed to label changes that impose additional requirements for "over the top" use of these products next year including:

Classifying products as "restricted use," permitting only certified applicators with special training and those under their supervision, to apply them;

Dicamba-specific training for all certified applicators to reinforce proper use;

Requiring farmers to maintain specific records regarding the use of these products to improve compliance with label restrictions;

Limiting applications to when maximum wind speeds are below 10 miles per hour (from 15 miles per hour) to reduce potential spray drift;

Reducing the times during the day when applications can occur;

Including tank clean-out language to prevent cross-contamination; and

Enhancing susceptible crop language and record keeping with sensitive crop registries to increase awareness of risk to especially sensitive crops nearby.

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