Farm Progress

An estimated 500,000 acres of dicamba-tolerant soybeans were planted this year in Nebraska, but injury on dicamba-sensitive crops is raising concerns for growers.

July 31, 2017

2 Min Read
SIGNS OF DICAMBA INJURY: Dicamba injury symptoms can be seen in a Roundup Ready soybean field near Geneva. Symptoms include leaf tip wrinkling and cupping of young leaves with low doses of contamination, and puckering and leaf elongation with higher doses.Amit Jhala

Nebraska crop producers are joining others across the country in facing potential issues related to dicamba, a herbicide for broadleaf weed control.

While the product has been available for weed control for a number of years, this was the first year that dicamba-tolerant Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybean and new dicamba-based formulations, including XtendiMax, Engenia and FeXapan were made commercially available in Nebraska.

An estimated 500,000 acres of dicamba-tolerant soybean were planted this year across the state, but broadleaf crops sensitive to the herbicide are raising concerns for growers.

Amit Jhala, Nebraska Extension weed management specialist, has been responding to those concerns.

"Several dicamba-sensitive crops are planted in Nebraska, so it's important for producers to be familiar with dicamba injury symptoms," Jhala says. "Some of the soybean fields I have visited this season have had symptoms similar to those caused by dicamba, from one end to the other, suggesting off-target movement through volatility."

Dicamba is a phenoxy group herbicide that can result in off-target movement through physical drift, volatility or temperature inversion. Tank contamination is also an issue if the spray tank is not cleaned properly according to label recommendations. A number of broadleaf crops and plants are sensitive to dicamba, including non-dicamba tolerant soybean, grapes, tomato, watermelons, pumpkins and several minor vegetable crops raised in Nebraska.

Symptoms include leaf tip wrinkling and cupping of young leaves with low doses of contamination, and puckering and leaf elongation with higher doses.

"Once dicamba injury symptoms are identified, the first thing the grower should do is scout the field to get a sense of the damage," Jhala says. "It's also important at that time to start communication with your neighbors and pesticide applicators."

In a recent UNL CropWatch article, Jhala noted some of his personal observations:

• “Most soybean fields I visited had very consistent dicamba injury symptoms from one end to the other, suggesting off-target movement through volatility.

• “Most fields I visited had dicamba injury symptoms on soybean, but not on broadleaf weeds.

• “In certain instances off-target movement was potentially from dicamba-based products applied in corn.” A number of dicamba-based products labeled for corn may cause symptoms on sensitive crops similar to those caused by XtendiMax, Engenia or FeXapan.

Producers in Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Tennessee and Mississippi also have reported significant potential dicamba damage.

Local extension offices can serve as timely resources during the process, Jhala says. Extension educators are in constant communication with producers, so they will have a sense of how widespread the issue may be.

Growers who wish to file a complaint should contact the Nebraska Department of Agriculture.

For updates on dicamba contamination, as well as Nebraska Extension information on crop production and pest management, visit cropwatch.unl.edu.

Sources: IANR News Service, UNL CropWatch

 

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

You May Also Like