Dicamba Technology Demands Multiple Levels of Stewardship
Everyone involved with production agriculture in Illinois has a critical role to play in the proper stewardship of new products, such as dicamba-based herbicides, including strict adherence to all label guidelines.
ISA continues to work with industry partners to inform growers about specific requirements related to dicamba use in Illinois.
The Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) released emergency administrative rules detailing additional restrictions for dicamba application on soybeans for the 2021 growing season.
In October 2020, USEPA announced that it had renewed the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) registrations for three dicamba pesticides for growing seasons 2021-2025. Contrary to prior practice, USEPA declared that the only way for states to add safety restrictions to these products is through Section 24(a) of FIFRA, which allows a state to add restrictions through its rulemaking process.
IDOA filed emergency rules effective February 5, 2021. Impacted registrations include: XtendiMax with VaporGrip Technology, Engenia Herbicide and Tavium Plus VaporGrip Technology.
In addition to the requirements of the federally-approved labels, all use of pesticides containing dicamba on soybeans in Illinois must comply with the following requirements:
- A pesticide containing dicamba shall not be applied on soybeans if the air temperature at the field at the time of application is over 85 degrees Fahrenheit or if the National Weather Service's forecasted high temperature for the nearest available location for the day of application exceeds 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Local National Weather Service forecasts are available at https://www.weather.gov.
CUT-OFF DATE RESTRICTION
Application on soybeans of a pesticide containing dicamba shall not be made after June 20 of each year.
Before applying a pesticide containing dicamba on soybeans, the applicator shall consult the FieldWatch sensitive crop registry (https://www.fieldwatch.com) and comply with all associated recordkeeping and label requirements.
- Application on soybeans of a pesticide containing dicamba shall not be made if the wind is blowing toward:
- any Illinois Nature Preserves Commission site that is adjacent to the field of application; or
an adjacent residential area.
"After the announcement of the USEPA decision and as the lead agency of pesticide regulation in the State of Illinois, the Department quickly looked at options to allow farmers to make their input decisions for the 2021 growing season in a timely manner," said Acting Director Jerry Costello II. "Illinois is the number one soybean producing state in the nation, and it's critical to balance the use of this important tool (dicamba) while also protecting surrounding farmers, landowners, specialty crops, trees, forests, and natural areas.
In 2019, IDOA received 723 dicamba-related complaints. Subsequently, IDOA initiated a June 20 application cut-off date and 85-degree temperature restriction, which led in part to an 80% (147) decrease in dicamba-related complaints in 2020.
IDOA's Rules for the use of pesticides containing dicamba on soybeans can be viewed at: https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/index/register/volume45/register_volume45_issue_7.pdf (Pg. 2071 or Pg. 325 of the .pdf document)
New Application Requirements for 2021
Although many of the label restrictions for all three products remained the same, below is a listing of changes or additions to the federally approved labels:
- In-field, downwind buffer increased to 240' from 110'
- Requires use of a qualified VRA (volatility reduction agent)/pH buffering adjuvant in the tank for every application
- Endangered Species Areas – Downwind buffer increased to 310' from 110'
- Endangered Species Counties have changed. Currently 18 Illinois counties instead of 29. Visit www.epa.gov/espp for details.
- Cleaner label structure – fewer pages. Only includes pre- and post-emergent uses for DT soybean and cotton – conventional crop and non-crop uses have been removed from the label
- Qualified Hooded Sprayer option added to allow for a reduction in spray drift buffers
- 5-year Registration Date – Ends in 2025
- Additional Training and Record Keeping Requirements
- Federal Cut-off dates of June 30th for Soybeans and July 30th for cotton (Illinois Cut-Off Date is June 20th per state specific restrictions)
Prior to applying dicamba, applicators must complete dicamba-specific training on an annual basis. Training and certification programs are offered on-line at no charge by all three registrants.
Engenia Training Opportunities:
Tavium Training Opportunities:
XtendiMax Training Opportunities:
For more information please visit https://ifca.com/illinoisdicambatraining
Responsible use of dicamba for 2020:
From Illinois Department of Agriculture: The Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) announced additional label restrictions for the 2020 growing season for the herbicide dicamba. After careful consideration, IDOA Director John Sullivan has determined the Department will be forwarding 24 (c) registration requests to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) for Illinois specific labels for the use of dicamba on soybeans in 2020 requiring the following additional provisions:
- DO NOT apply this product if the air temperature at the field at the time of application is over 85 degrees Fahrenheit or if the National Weather Service’s forecasted high temperature for the nearest available location for the day of application exceeds 85 degrees Fahrenheit. (Local National Weather Service forecast are available at https://www.weather.gov.)
- DO NOT apply this product after June 20, 2020.
- Before making an application of 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.
Certified Applicators Only
The label directions for these dicamba products require applications to be made by fully certified applicators only. Applications made under direct supervision that are permitted for some other RUPs are not allowed for these products.
Certified Commercial and commercial not for hire applicators must at a minimum hold a valid applicator's license which consists of passing the general standards exam in addition to at a minimum the field crop category exam. Commercial and commercial not for hire operators are not allowed to apply these dicamba products under the supervision of their applicator.
Certified Private applicators must pass the private applicator exam. Hired hands are not allowed to apply these dicamba products under the supervision of a licensed private applicator.
All certified applicators must meet the annual dicamba specific training requirements prior to making applications of these dicamba products.
Dicamba Record Keeping Requirements
The federal label requires numerous elements to be kept for every individual dicamba application. Records must be generated within 72 hours after application and a record must be kept for every individual application.
Although not required, each registrant has sample forms available that can be used for assistance in recordkeeping. Records are required to be kept for 2 years. Records must be made available to state pesticide control officials upon request.
Engenia Recordkeeping Form:
Tavium Recordkeeping Form:
Xtendimax Recordkeeping Form:
Endangered Species Requirements
To protect federally listed threatened and endangered species, both a 310-foot in-field wind-directional spray drift buffer and a 57-foot omnidirectional in-field buffer are required for the following Illinois Counties: Bureau, Effingham, Fayette, Fulton, Greene, Grundy, Kankakee, LaSalle, Livingston, Madison, Marion, Morgan, Peoria, Pike, Schuyler, St. Clair, Tazewell and Will. Currently 18 Illinois counties instead of 29 as required in the 2018 dicamba labels.
Prior to making any applications of one of the three approved dicamba products, applicators must visit www.epa.gov/espp to check for additional restrictions.
Endangered Species Protection Bulletins are a part of EPA's Endangered Species Protection Program. Bulletins set forth geographically specific pesticide use limitations for the protection of threatened and endangered (listed) species and their designated critical habitat.
If your pesticide label directs you to the Bulletin Web site, you are required to follow the pesticide use limitation(s) found in the Bulletin for your intended application area, pesticide active ingredient or product and application month.
Bulletins may be accessed up to six months before pesticide application. Be sure that you follow the correct Bulletin for the month of your pesticide application.
The following areas may be included in the buffer distance calculation when directly adjacent to the treated field edges:
- Roads, paved or gravel surfaces, mowed grassy areas adjacent to field, and bare ground from recent plowing or grading that are contiguous with the treated field.
- Planted agricultural fields containing dicamba-resistant plantings of cotton and soybeans.
- Areas covered by the footprint of a building, silo, or other manmade structure with walls and/or roof.
Planted agricultural fields containing corn or crops other than dicamba-resistant plantings of cotton or soybeans are not allowed to be used in the endangered species buffer distance calculations.