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What’s next for dicamba in 2022

Illinois Department of Agriculture’s Michael Woods discusses the 2022 permanent dicamba application ruling and the reasons behind the decision.

Sierra Day, Field editor

January 3, 2022

2 Min Read
soybean plants with dicamba damage
DICAMBA DAMAGE: Statistics show a decrease in Illinois dicamba misuse complaints after putting emergency rulings into effect in 2020 and 2021 — thus, encouraging IDOA to transition the latest ruling into a permanent ruling for 2022. Holly Spangler

The Illinois Department of Agriculture recently announced permanent dicamba application rules for 2022, based on feedback from 2021. In short, the rules are the same, but this time they’re permanent.

Michael Woods, IDOA natural resources division manager, answers questions regarding regulations for growing season 2022:

What is the 2022 ruling? We made a permanent ruling of what has been a temporary ruling for the prior two years — 2020 and 2021. The retained rules are:

  • Do not apply pesticide containing dicamba on soybeans if the air temperature at the field at application is over 85 degrees F or if the National Weather Service forecasts a high temperature over 85 degrees at the nearest location.

  • Do not apply pesticide containing dicamba on soybeans after June 20.

  • Applicators should consult the FieldWatch sensitive crop registry to confirm any sensitive crops or beehives near the field being applied. Then, applicators must follow all appropriate record-keeping and label requirements.

  • Do not apply pesticide containing dicamba if the wind is blowing toward any Illinois Nature Preserves Commission site or residential area adjacent to the applied field.

Why did IDOA make these rules permanent? In October 2020, the U.S. EPA renewed the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act for 2021 through 2025. At this time, U.S. EPA also announced Section 24(a) of FIFRA — states can add safety restrictions to these products through its rulemaking procedure. So, IDOA filed emergency, or temporary, ruling in February 2021. The ruling included additional requirements for dicamba application on soybeans for 2021, which built upon the emergency ruling from the 2020 growing season.

But emergency rules aren’t permanent, right? Right, according to the Illinois Administrative Procedure Act, state agencies cannot adopt emergency rules for more than two years. So, IDOA had to move forward with the permanent dicamba ruling, and statistics show the 2020 and 2021 emergency rulings were effective. Dicamba misuse complaints decreased from 723 complaints in 2019 to 145 complaints in 2020 and 161 complaints in 2021. We believe going into the 2022 growing season, these permanent rules will continue to ensure we safeguard our natural resources while providing opportunity to the industry to utilize a valuable tool in their toolbox.

Did the 2021 dicamba ruling work? The industry worked together and with IDOA to identify the best means to safeguard our natural resources and found solutions, which led to a significant decline of dicamba misuse complaints. The department ruling and shift in behaviors across the industry supports the statistics in 2021.

So, what label and IDOA rules do farmers need to follow? The key is making sure farmers adhere to the permanent state ruling [mentioned previously] and all federal labeling requirements: proper safety training, proper application and proper mixture formulas.

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About the Author(s)

Sierra Day

Field editor, Farm Progress

A 10th-generation agriculturist, Sierra Day grew up alongside the Angus cattle, corn and soybeans on her family’s operation in Cerro Gordo, Ill. Although she spent an equal amount in farm machinery as she did in the cattle barn as a child, Day developed a bigger passion for the cattle side of the things.

An active member of organizations such as 4-H, FFA and the National Junior Angus Association, she was able to show Angus cattle on the local, state and national levels while participating in contests and leadership opportunities that were presented through these programs.

As Day got older, she began to understand the importance of transitioning from a member to a mentor for other youth in the industry. Thus, her professional and career focus is centered around educating agriculture producers and youth to aid in prospering the agriculture industry.

In 2018, she received her associate degree from Lake Land College, where her time was spent as an active member in clubs such as Ag Transfer club and PAS. A December 2020 graduate of Kansas State University in Animal Sciences & Industry and Agricultural Communications & Journalism, Day was active in Block & Bridle and Agriculture Communicators of Tomorrow, while also serving as a communications student worker in the animal science department.

Day currently resides back home where she owns and operates Day Cattle Farm with her younger brother, Chayton. The duo strives to raise functional cattle that are show ring quality and a solid foundation for building anyone’s herd.

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