Requirements for the 2020 soybean crop

Planning to use crop protection products containing dicamba in 2020? Be sure to read each installment of the five-part 2020 soybean crop series to deepen your understanding of label requirements and best practices.

This first edition of the series focuses on changes to the federal and state label in the past two years that applicators must keep aware of prior to use.

On Oct. 31, 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) issued labels for the three dicamba-containing products that are labeled for use on soybeans: Engenia (BASF), XtendiMax (Bayer), and FeXapan (DuPont). Tavium’s (Syngenta) label was issued later.

The changes made to the federal label impacted use in crop years 2019 and 2020, and included:

  • Two-year registration (until December 20, 2020);
  • Only certified applicators may apply dicamba over the top (those working under the supervision of a certified applicator may no longer make applications);
  • Prohibit over-the-top application of dicamba on soybeans 45 days after planting and on cotton 60 days after planting;
  • For cotton, limit the number of over-the-top applications from 4 to 2 (soybeans remain at 2 OTT applications);
  • Applications will be allowed only from 1 hour after sunrise to 2 hours before sunset;
  • In counties where endangered species may exist, the downwind buffer will remain at 110 feet and there will be a 57-foot buffer around all other sides of the field to protect sensitive areas (the 110-foot downwind buffer applies to all applications, not just in counties where endangered species may exist);
  • Clarify training period for 2019 and beyond, ensuring consistency across all four products;
  • Enhanced tank clean-out instructions for the entire system;
  • Enhanced label to improve applicator awareness on the impact of low pH's on the potential volatility of dicamba; and
  • Label clean up and consistency to improve compliance and enforceability.

The state label regarding dicamba evolved last fall to include additional label restrictions.

In November 2019, the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) announced additional label restrictions for the 2020 growing season and forwarded a 24(c) registration request to USEPA for Illinois Special Local Needs Labels for the use of dicamba on soybeans in 2020, adding the following 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.
  • 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 and comply with all associated record keeping label requirements.
  • DO NOT apply when the wind is blowing toward adjacent/neighboring residential areas.
  • 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 intent of the additional restrictions is to reduce the potential for off-target movement of the product, thereby reducing the potential for possible adverse impacts to dicamba-sensitive crops and areas.

Farmers and applicators must work together to steward the technology in the 2020 growing season and beyond. Strict adherence is not only the law, but it is in the best interest of maintaining the availability of the technology in the future.

Visit this link for more information on dicamba products and label restrictions.

From the Editor: This series of articles is written for the purpose of providing IFB members education on the requirements surrounding usage of dicamba on soybeans as they head into the 2020 growing season.