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No Drift Zone sign in field
RESPECT THE SIGN! If you see a sign like this one, you know the crop is sensitive to dicamba herbicides for Xtend soybeans. Official dicamba labels require that you check the DriftWatch website before spraying to determine what crops are nearby.

DriftWatch adds tool to track sensitive soybeans

Farmers still are responsible for knowing if neighboring fields are dicamba-tolerant before applying dicamba herbicides.

Most official complaints regarding dicamba herbicides applied on dicamba-tolerant soybeans involved off-target movement and/or drift to non-tolerant soybeans, says Dave Scott, pesticide administrator with the Office of Indiana State Chemist. The number of complaints on other sensitive crops besides soybeans was relatively low.

That’s partly because companies like Red Gold, which processes a significant amount of tomatoes grown in Indiana, are proactive in urging growers to alert neighbors about the location of sensitive crops such as tomatoes. It’s also because most farmers who grow sensitive crops can post their locations on the DriftWatch website. Applicators of dicamba for Xtend soybeans are required to check DriftWatch before making the application.

In 2018, however, the location of row crops like non-dicamba-tolerant soybeans couldn’t be mapped in DriftWatch. It was reserved for sensitive crops such as tomatoes, grapes and cucumbers.

A new feature called CropCheck allows growers to map row crops that may be sensitive to nearby pesticide applications, Scott says. Access CropCheck through driftwatch.org. If the option isn’t live yet, it will be soon. Farmers with soybeans sensitive to dicamba can note the location of fields on maps.

Scott notes that checking CropCheck for nearby non-dicamba-tolerant row crops doesn’t eliminate the requirement for the applicator to ensure neighboring crops are dicamba-tolerant before application. That likely means visiting with your neighbor to make sure you know what’s planted in fields surrounding your fields.

Mixed reviews on whether people checked with neighbors before spraying dicamba on Xtend beans trickled in during 2018. One farmer reported that a commercial applicator sprayed several fields around his soybeans and never inquired if they were dicamba-tolerant.

It’s still the law under the label, Scott reminds all applicators.

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