Farm Progress

Additional training and restrictions in place for the 2018 season appear to have minimized drifting complaints.

September 18, 2018

3 Min Read
DICAMBA LESSONS: Scott Anderson (left) from Iowa and Scott Dauk of Minnesota shared their experiences with using the herbicide dicamba during a panel discussion at the Farm Progress Show Aug. 29 in Boone, Iowa. BASF sponsored the meeting.

By Paula Mohr

Application training and stricter EPA rules for using dicamba on dicamba-tolerant soybeans seem to have helped reduce problems with herbicide drift and damaging neighboring crops.

That was one of the messages shared Aug. 29 by two Midwest farmers at the Farm Progress Show in Boone, Iowa.

Steve Anderson of Beaman, Iowa, and Scott Dauk of Madison Lake, Minn., talked about their experiences this growing season with dicamba during a panel discussion hosted by BASF, which sells Engenia. Engenia is one of three dicamba products on the market this year. The other two are XtendiMax, sold by Monsanto (now Bayer), and FeXapan, sold by DowDuPont.


Scott Dauk

Both farmers dealt with snow in mid-April that set back planting dates. However, weather warmed quickly, corn and soybeans got planted and weed management kicked in.

Anderson said waterhemp has become his No. 1 weed to deal with, as well as giant ragweed and volunteer corn.

“We just have to do a better job in managing [volunteer corn],” he said.

Dauk said his biggest weed challenges have been waterhemp and giant ragweed, especially after spraying them and then seeing new growth on killed weeds a week later.

This was the second year both farmers used dicamba on dicamba-tolerant soybeans.

“It went better this time around for me,” Anderson said. He and his farm staff attended an Asgrow training session and learned how to apply the product according to stricter EPA label requirements. Mandatory training and stricter labeling came about after EPA received more than 2,700 crop injury claims related to dicamba drift and volatilization that affected more than 3.6 million acres in 2017.

“I learned a bit more this time,” Anderson said. Using a good pre product helped, and he also applied Zidua Pro, another BASF product.

“I was able to hold off on the dicamba a bit longer, and then that ended up giving me season-long control,” he said.

Dauk added that a pre is a good option for his fields, too. He applied Treflan with a tank mix of Optill.

Nozzles are key
Dauk said he was concerned initially about using dicamba as reports rolled in from Southern states about problems with drift. However, he talked with his BASF rep about it, giving him details on spraying speed, pressure and gallons applied per acre. Based on that information, he was given the nozzles he needed.

“I’ve got a Hagie sprayer, so the boom is in front of me. It looks like a light rain coming out of nozzles,” he said. “If you’re going under the 10-mph limit and following label, you won’t have any issues.” Dauk also went through mandatory training, this one sponsored by BASF.

Neither farmer saw or heard of dicamba drift problems in their area this growing season. They also were mindful of neighboring crops, and they talked to neighbors to let them know they were spraying the herbicide. Dauk took an extra precaution by adding a 120-foot buffer between dicamba-tolerant and non-tolerant crops.

In Minnesota, the ag department surveyed farmers again about dicamba damage. As of Sept. 11, the agency had received 52 dicamba complaints, with 1,851 acres of vegetation affected, said Margaret Hart, MDA communications director. Twenty-eight complainants (1,333.5 acres of soybeans and 6 acres of alfalfa) requested further investigation of the damage. The survey concluded Sept. 15.

Last year, MDA received 253 dicamba complaints, impacting an estimated 265,000 acres across the state.

Meanwhile, farmers and others await EPA’s announcement regarding the renewal of dicamba registration for 2019. A decision is expected by October.


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