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Is it dicamba or something else?Is it dicamba or something else?

Kansas State University weed specialist has advice for soybean farmers seeing cupping in their fields from suspected dicamba drift.

Jennifer M. Latzke

July 12, 2023

2 Min Read
soybean field with cuppling, leaf blistering from dicamba
CAUSE OF CUPPING: Kansas soybean farmers are seeing cupping in some of their fields from suspected dicamba drift. Sarah Lancaster, K-State weed science specialist, has some advice. JJ Gouin/Getty Images

The cutoff date for applying dicamba over the top of soybeans has passed — but that doesn’t mean that dicamba isn’t being applied in other cropping systems near sensitive fields. Sarah Lancaster, Kansas State University weed science specialist, has been fielding questions from concerned soybean growers about off-target movement of dicamba onto their sensitive soybeans.

In the July 6 Agronomy eUpdate, Lancaster reminds growers that dicamba is used in range and pasture, fallow, and corn cropping systems, as well as in Xtend soybeans. And with the flush of weeds in wheat fields after recent rains, she reminded growers that dicamba is one of a list of tools farmers are considering in controlling weeds in their wheat stubble after harvest.

“Also, there are other types of herbicides that can cause leaf malformations. Be sure to consider the other herbicides applied in or near your soybeans,” she writes.

There are two types of drift: particle drift and vapor drift. Particle drift occurs when herbicide droplets blow from the application site and land on sensitive plants. Crop response is more severe the closer to the application site.

Vapor drift occurs when the herbicide is aerosolized into very fine particles that can move over greater distances from the original application point. The crop may have less of a response to vapor drift.

Lancaster explained that if a single dicamba drift event occurred during the vegetative growth stages of soybeans, the field is at less risk for a yield loss. However, that risk rises if the event occurs near flowering. And yield reductions are greater if multiple drift events occur, and if they happen during reproductive growth stages.

You can learn more at bit.ly/eupdatedicambadrift.

Review herbicide injury symptoms in K-State Agronomy handout C715, “Herbicide Mode of Action,” at bit.ly/herbmodeaction.

Kansas State Agronomy eUpdate contributed to this article.

About the Author(s)

Jennifer M. Latzke

Editor, Kansas Farmer

Through all her travels, Jennifer M. Latzke knows that there is no place like Kansas.

Jennifer grew up on her family’s multigenerational registered Angus seedstock ranch and diversified farm just north of Woodbine, Kan., about 30 minutes south of Junction City on the edge of the Kansas Flint Hills. Rock Springs Ranch State 4-H Center was in her family’s backyard.

While at Kansas State University, Jennifer was a member of the Sigma Kappa Sorority and a national officer for the Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow. She graduated in May 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural communications and a minor in animal science. In August 2000 Jennifer started her 20-year agricultural writing career in Dodge City, Kan., on the far southwest corner of the state.

She’s traveled across the U.S. writing on wheat, sorghum, corn, cotton, dairy and beef stories as well as breaking news and policy at the local, state and national levels. Latzke has traveled across Mexico and South America with the U.S. Wheat Associates and toured Vietnam as a member of KARL Class X. She’s traveled to Argentina as one of 10 IFAJ-Alltech Young Leaders in Agricultural Journalism. And she was part of a delegation of AAEA: The Ag Communicators Network members invited to Cuba.

Jennifer’s an award-winning writer, columnist, and podcaster, recognized by the Kansas Professional Communicators, Kansas Press Association, the National Federation of Presswomen, Livestock Publications Council, and AAEA. In 2019, Jennifer reached the pinnacle of achievements, earning the title of “Writer of Merit” from AAEA.

Trips and accolades are lovely, but Jennifer says she is happiest on the road talking to farmers and ranchers and gathering stories and photos to share with readers.

“It’s an honor and a great responsibility to be able to tell someone’s story and bring them recognition for their work on the land,” Jennifer says. “But my role is also evolving to help our more urban neighbors understand the issues our Kansas farmers face in bringing the food and fiber to their store shelves.”

She spends her time gardening, crafting, watching K-State football, and cheering on her nephews and niece in their 4-H projects. She can be found on Twitter at @Latzke.

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