From the Farm: Dicamba Herbicide Future

The Morning Show

Although about two and a half months later than promised, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released its decision on future use of the controversial herbicide dicamba. WCIA 3’s ag reporter Stu Ellis has more in Friday morning’s report From the Farm.

Farmers will have at least two more growing seasons to address hard to control weeds with dicamba. But the EPA has changed some rules from the past two years, and has left a lot of questions unanswered at this point.

But if you have not yet placed an order for seed beans—based on the EPA decision, those high priced Xtend soybeans will be able to be treated with Xtendimax, Fexapan, and Engenia in 2019 and 2020.

At this point the EPA has not released an approved label for the dicamba formulations, but some restrictions have been released. Only certified applicators can apply them, but no one who is being supervised by a certified applicator, and not having the required training and license.

Soybeans can be sprayed twice, but nothing after 45 days from planting. Applications can be made from one hour after sunrise to two hours before sunset.

And those setbacks are still there, but there is still a lot of confusion. 57 feet away from a field edge, but 110 feet away where an endangered specie may exist.

In the past two years, several states have imposed additional restrictions, but at this point, the EPA rules seem to preclude states from doing that. EPA’s announcement late on Wednesday contained some mysterious new language—referring to tank mixing, tank cleanout, and its level of acidity. Those questions will have to wait until the EPA releases the label for the dicamba products.

That’s our report from the farm, I’m Stu Ellis with WCIA3 your local news leader.

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