The Illinois Department of Agriculture is forwarding requests to the Environmental Protection Agency for state-specific labels
By Diego Flammini
Soybean growers in Illinois will need to follow stricter regulations when applying dicamba in 2020.
On Oct 11., the state agriculture department announced it is seeking additional label instructions from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) when it comes to spraying dicamba on soybeans.
Pending EPA approval, producers must comply with the following provisions in addition to existing federal regulations.
- Do not apply this product if the air temperature in the field at the time of application is over 85 F or if the National Weather Service’s forecasted high temperature for the nearest available location for the day of application exceeds 85 F. (Local National Weather Service forecast are available at https://www.weather.gov.)
- Do not apply this product after June 20, 2020.
- Before applying this product, the applicator must consult the FieldWatch sensitive crop registry (https://www.fieldwatch.com) and comply with all associated record-keeping label requirements.
- Maintain the label-specified downwind buffer between the last treated row and the nearest downfield edge of any Illinois Nature Preserves Commission site.
- It is best to apply product when the wind is blowing away from sensitive areas, which include but are not limited to bodies of water and non-residential uncultivated areas that may harbor sensitive plant species.
The decision to increase the regulation comes after a steady increase in the number of dicamba-related complaints.
Illinois had 246 registered complaints in 2017, 330 complaints in 2018 and 724 complaints in 2019.
“The number of off-target complaints received during the 2019 growing season rose dramatically, and the department is taking action to reduce those numbers,” John Sullivan, director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture, said in a statement. “These additional restrictions were reached after careful consideration with our Environmental Programs team at the department, as well as input from stakeholders in the agriculture industry.”
Farms.com has reached out to local soybean producers and agronomists for comment.