The agriculture industry has been working hard to provide the most effective herbicides to help slow down and minimize the growing weed resistance problem. However, efforts with formulating dicamba products go further than the manufacturer. Federal and state rules and regulations dictate how applicators and growers are able to legally and safely use different herbicides to limit volatility and drift in undesired areas.
With each new year and with new products, comes new policies. It is important for growers, applicators and other ag professionals to be aware of these policies to avoid negative consequences.
With that in mind, the following are five key things to keep in mind regarding the new dicamba technology for the 2017 growing season:
Dicamba-tolerant soybeans and cotton were approved for use in 2016 by the federal government, but at the time there were not any dicamba herbicide formulations approved for use in the new crop system.
For the 2017 season, new dicamba formulations have been approved for use with dicamba-tolerant soybeans and cotton, including Monsanto’s XtendiMax™ herbicide with VaporGrip™ Technology, BASF’s Engenia™ herbicide, and DuPont’s FeXapan™ herbicide plus VaporGrip™ Technology.
While 2017 is not unique regarding dicamba volatility, it is very important to reiterate. As new and improved formulations of dicamba continue to be released, each technology boasts its ability to lower the potential volatility of dicamba.
In addition, off-target particle drift is also an issue that we continue to work to reduce. It is important to ensure the herbicide is only applied to the appropriate surfaces, so it can kill the weeds as intended, but not injure other plants or drift into sensitive areas.
Rules and Regulations
When using dicamba, it is vital that growers closely adhere to the requirements and procedures for using the new approved dicamba herbicide technology. Following label regulations regarding new herbicides will help ensure that rules are followed appropriately and we are able to continue using this new technology for many years. Misuse of the products, whether intentional or not, will have consequences for the entire agriculture industry, including increased weed resistance and the potential removal of products that are currently available for use within the industry.
It is also important to keep in mind that herbicide rules and regulations are continually being updated within the industry. Staying current on the regulations is very important. One example of this is that all tank mixes used with the new dicamba herbicides must be approved in advance. Applicators should check their label and the online resources for their specific herbicide and any tank mix products each time, before applying the product.
Appropriate Products Equal the Best Results
While dicamba is an effective herbicide against quite a few problematic weeds, it is still recommended to use multiple modes of action and sites of action for the most effective weed management practices. The new dicamba technology is an effective tool for control of marestail, Palmer amaranth, waterhemp, morningglory, and common and giant ragweed. It also is effective against many other weeds, but may need additional herbicides to best combat weed growth. It is recommended that using multiple modes of action will help the new technology stay more effective for a longer period of time.
The agriculture industry is continually changing with advances in technology and science. Each day we are learning more about our industry.
Keeping up to date with the available products and their approved use will allow applicators, growers and ag professionals to successfully keep moving forward with effective weed management programs. Stay tuned to the LIFT blog for additional information regarding effective weed management solutions.