By Aaron Hager
On October 13, the United States Environmental Agency (EPA) issued several amendments to the XtendiMax, Engenia, and FeXapan labels that will impact all purchases and applications of these products in 2018 and beyond. These amendments can be summarized as:
1) XtendiMax, Engenia, and FeXapan are now restricted use products (RUP), permitting only certified applicators to purchase and/or apply these products.
2) Prior to applying these products in 2018, applicators must complete dicamba or auxin-specific training. Two of the labels further specify training will be required annually.
3) Record keeping is required for applications of these products. See the updated labels for the entire list of records that must be completed within 14 days of each application and retained for a period of two years.
4) All applications, regardless of application timing, are limited to when maximum wind speeds are not greater than 10 miles per hour (reduced from 15 miles per hour). Wind speed and direction are to be recorded at boom height.
5) All applications are limited to between sunrise and sunset.
6) A record of compliance with spray system cleanout procedures, as per label guidelines, is required.
7) Enhanced language pertaining to susceptible crops; for example: “DO NOT APPLY this product when the wind is blowing toward adjacent non-dicamba tolerant susceptible crops; this includes NON-DICAMBA TOLERANT SOYBEAN AND COTTON.”
The intent of these label amendments is to reduce sensitive plant species exposure to dicamba primarily through physical movement (i.e., drift during the application or particle movement during temperature inversions) or via dicamba residues dislodged from application equipment. These amendments, however, do not address exposure through volatility.
The RUP classification of these products requires anyone who purchases or applies them to be licensed by the State of Illinois as either private or commercial applicators. A private applicator license is required if you apply RUPs on lands you own or control in the production of an agricultural commodity, whereas a commercial license is required for persons who apply pesticides for hire, apply pesticides to the property of their employer only, or for government employees who apply pesticides during the normal course of duty.
Dicamba or auxin-specific training must be completed prior to application of these products in 2018. The training is required for any labeled application of these products (i.e., not only for application to dicamba-resistant soybean varieties). The Illinois agricultural organizations are working to assist the industry with meeting the training requirement prior to the 2018 crop season. Go to www.ifca.com/illinoisdicambatraining.com after November 15 for a list of scheduled training events around Illinois, and to register for these events.