Dicamba Watch

Abbott, 2017

Chuck Abbott, “Arkansas Task Force Aims for Long-Term Recommendations on Use of Dicamba,” The Fern, August 9, 2017.

SUMMARY:

Arkansas has appointed a 21-member task force to help identify solutions for the dicamba drift damage problem, with 900 complaints received this year so far.  FULL TEXT

Abbott, 2017

Chuck Abbott, “Dicamba is ‘tremendous success,’ says Monsanto; EPA mulls rule change,” FERN’s AG Insider, August 31, 2017.

SUMMARY:

Monsanto claims they will have enough dicamba-resistant seed available for half the U.S. soybean acreage, and chief technology officer Robb Fraley described dicamba as a “tremendous success” for most farmers.  EPA, however, is considering changes ahead of the 2018 season. “We don’t consider this to be normal growing pains for a new technology,” says an EPA official who oversees herbicide regulations.  Monsanto again claims the key is “strict adherence to instructions.” FULL TEXT

Associated Press, 2017a

Associated Press, “Arkansas governor approves board’s limits on dicamba use,” The Washington Times, January 4, 2017.

SUMMARY:

Reports that Gov. Hutchinson has approved the Arkansas State Plant Board’s proposal to limit when and where dicamba can be sprayed in the upcoming planting season.  It includes a requirement for a 1 mile buffer zone before spraying dicamba, except on pasture or rangeland. FULL TEXT

Associated Press, 2017b

Associated Press, “Farm chemical linked to oak damage,” July 2, 2017, Quad-City Times,

SUMMARY:

Reports that almost 1,000 residents of Iowa have contacted the state Department of Natural Resources about damaged leaves on oak trees (photo, right) that looked like insect damage.  Research from the University of Illinois in 2004 showed that herbicide drift was likely linked to the condition, known as leaf tatters, due to exposure to chloroacetanilide herbicides like dicamba.  Exposure occurs from direct drift but also through atmospheric volubility in areas not close to where the herbicide was applied. White oaks are particularly susceptible, and trees can die if damage to the leaves occurs over multiple years.   FULL TEXT

Barber, 2017

Tom Barber, “Dicamba Drift and Potential Effects on Soybean Yield,” AGWatch Network, July 7, 2016.

SUMMARY:

Tom Barber, an Extension Weed Scientist at the University of Arkansas, posts a chilling overview of what he has observed in soybean fields in several parts of the state. His piece “Dicamba Drift and Potential Effects on Soybean Yield” contains an ominous warning – “We have observed a 10% [soybean] yield loss from dicamba at rates as low as 1/1024X of the labeled rate” – a very low level of drift and/or movement following volatilization.  Barber also warns that low rates of dicamba drift/movement onto soybeans, especially later in the crop’s growth cycle (i.e. R3-R5) can result in carryover of dicamba in the seed…triggering problems if the soybeans are used for seed in the next year and increasing dietary exposure levels.  FULL TEXT

BASF, 2016b

BASF Press Release, “Engenia herbicide from BASF now registered by EPA,”  Farm Industry News, 2016.

SUMMARY:

BASF press release about EPA approval of Engenia herbicide for dicamba-tolerant soybean and cotton.  Includes claims of a 70% reduction in volatility.  FULL TEXT

Begemann and Skiles, 2017

Sonja Begemann and Susan Skiles Luke, July 10, 2017, “Arkansas, Missouri Ban Dicamba,” AgWeb.

SUMMARY:

Effective just after midnight on July 11, Arkansas finalizes a 120-day emergency ban on dicamba sales and use.  Missouri also banned dicamba the week before, with the intent of re-opening sales once the investigation into complaints of damage from dicamba drift is complete. The Missouri Soybean Association is quoted as saying that more than 200,000 acres of soybeans are affected in the state.  In a statement, Monsanto stressed the importance of “following label and local requirements” for their Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System of dicamba-resistant soybeans. The article lists the number of complaints of dicamba damage in Arkansas as “nearly 600,” up from the 500 reported on July 6, 2017.  FULL TEXT

Begemann, 2017

Sonja Begemann, “Dicamba Damage Watch,” July 6, 2017, AgPro.

SUMMARY:

Describes the symptoms of dicamba damage – cupped and wrinkled soybean leaves – and other culprits that could be the cause such as other herbicide damage, pests such as aphids and various plant diseases.  It can take 7 to 21 days for dicamba damage to appear, and it will only be evident on new leaves, not those present when the drift occurs.  Percentages as low as 0.06 to 1.9% can cause damage resulting in yield loss. FULL TEXT

Bennett, 2017a

Chris Bennett, “Dicamba Drift Reports Rise in Tenessee,” June 26, 2017,  Ag Web.

SUMMARY:

Reports that as of June 26, Tennesse Department of Agriculture has open investigations on 27 dicamba drift complaints, compared to only 3 in the same time period last year. FULL TEXT

Bennett, 2017b

Chris Bennett, “Arkansas Dicamba Ban Passes, Heads to Governor’s Desk,” June 26, 2017, AgPro.

 SUMMARY:

Report on the vote of the Arkansas plant board on June 23 for a 120-day emergency ban on dicamba use after 242 complaints of damage from drift were received.   The article points out the huge problem of herbicide-resistant Palmer amaranth in Arkansas fields, and the issue of seed availability, estimating that in 2018 70-80% of the seed available will be of the Xtend GE-variety, creating a greater need for dicamba.