Missouri, North Dakota and Tennessee already have restrictions in place
By Diego Flammini
Farmers in another U.S. state will be limited in their use of a popular soybean weed management tool.
Minnesota is the latest state to announce dicamba restrictions. North Dakota, Missouri, and Tennessee have already announced restrictions, while Arkansas has implemented a temporary ban on dicamba sales.
Beginning next year, Minnesota farmers will be prohibited from applying dicamba after June 20. They also can’t use dicamba if the temperature or forecasted high for the day is above 85 F.
These restrictions are intended to prevent potential drift damage to other crops.
More than 250 complaints about dicamba drift have come in from 49 counties in the state, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture says.
And about 265,000 acres of farmland in the state have been impacted by dicamba drift, according to the University of Minnesota.
Producers need dicamba as part of their weed management toolboxes, but they need to use their tools responsibly, according to Michael Petefish, president of the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association.
“We need dicamba,” he said in a statement on Tuesday. “We also need these new restrictions. Producers need to have the ability to adapt this product to their operations, and these additional guidelines will allow users to do just that in a safe and environmentally sound manner.”
But dicamba manufacturers don’t believe Minnesota’s restrictions will help farmers.
“There’s no scientific reason to have a cut-off date or a temperature limit. There is no testing that supports it,” Scott Partridge, vice president of global strategy with Monsanto, told the Associated Press on Tuesday.
It could be frustrating for farmers who find weed pressure in their fields after the June 20 cut-off, he added.
Dicamba rules in other states
- No dicamba applications may be made after June 30 or after R1 growth phase, whichever comes first.
- Dicamba cannot be used if air temperature is over 85 F.
- Dicamba applications may be made from one hour after sunrise to one hour before sunset.
- Applicators must maintain a speed of 12 miles per hour or less.
- Applications must be made with a minimum of 15 gallons of spray solution per acre.
- No applications may be made using 80-degree or less spray nozzles.
- Applications must be made by a licensed applicator and this individual must complete a “Dicamba Notice of Application” form prior to the application.
- Dicamba can’t be applied before 9:00 a.m. and after 3:00 p.m.
- Dicamba can’t be applied if wind speeds are greater than 10 mph. Applicators must record wind speed and direction for each field.
- Applicators must keep a record of each dicamba use.
- Dicamba can only be applied by a certified applicator.
- Dicamba may only be applied between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.
- Applying dicamba over the top of cotton after first bloom is prohibited.