Beach Cooperative Grain Company

- DTN Headline News
Dicamba Estimates Escalate
Friday, August 18, 2017 1:55PM CDT
By Pam Smith
DTN Progressive Farmer Crops Technology Editor

DECATUR, Illinois (DTN) -- Jeremy Wolf saw nearly half his soybean acreage injured this summer from dicamba herbicide that went astray. What's troubling him now, though, is what to do about the situation for the 2018 planting season.

"My entire summer has been consumed by trying to determine exactly how my beans got damaged and how to respond to that," said the Homer, Illinois, farmer. "I've seriously considered planting all corn next year. I do not want to go through another year like this."

Even growers pleased with weed control offered from the Xtend technology are scratching their heads as seed-selection decision time approaches. There are concerns over the possibility of additional label restrictions and how those might influence use. Insurance questions loom for both individual farm policyholders and custom applicators. The chance that sensitive soybean seed fields might have also fallen victim to dicamba spray is fueling some seed supply rumors.

MORE CLAIMS

Meanwhile, the number of alleged dicamba injury reports continue to mount.

University of Missouri weed specialist Kevin Bradley released updated estimates from a poll of state departments of agriculture indicating there are 2,242 official dicamba-related cases under investigation across the 16 states, as of August 10. University weed scientists responding to his survey estimated that 3.1 million acres of soybean have some level of dicamba injury this season. See Bradley's map here: https://goo.gl/….

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has made no secret of its concern over these reports of crop damage. Responding to DTN inquiries over what possible action might be taken, an EPA spokesperson said: "We are working with the states and the registrants to better understand the issue. We are reviewing the current use restrictions on the labels for these dicamba formulations in light of the incidents that have been reported this year. The underlying causes of the various damage incidents are not yet clear, but EPA is reviewing the available information carefully. We will rely on the best information available to inform our assessment."

In Arkansas, where there have been 895 complaints filed as of Aug. 16, a 19-member special task force convenes today, Aug. 17. The task force will review dicamba technology, investigate the use and application problems and make long-term recommendations.

University of Arkansas Extension weed specialist Tom Barber hopes the group moves fast.

"It's impossible for growers to plan until they know how or if these products will be able to be used," he said.

In Minnesota, the state re-registers herbicides yearly, according to Allen Sommerfeld, spokesperson for the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. With 202 injury complaints recorded in Minnesota as of Aug. 15, state officials are hustling to gather as much information as possible to make determinations on dicamba for next year.

VOLATILITY KEY

While a variety of situations have contributed to the off-target movement of dicamba this year, volatilization and travel of the chemical remains at the heart of the concerns. University of Arkansas weed scientists have released studies showing that every dicamba formulation they tested demonstrated volatility. Some formulations were found to volatilize at least 36 hours after application and move from the target site in spite of label-compliant application efforts.

Monsanto, who sells XtendiMax for use with the Xtend trait system, told DTN in recent written correspondence, "We are not aware of any non-volatile dicamba formulations available today. Off-target movement can occur with any pesticide application. However, XtendiMax with VaporGrip Technology allows farmers to see a significant reduction in volatility potential as compared to earlier dicamba formulations. Using published, https://www.astm.org/…, Humidome methodology, we discovered that this technology provides a 90% reduction in volatility potential as compared to Clarity and a 99% reduction compared to Banvel. We have application requirements in-place designed to minimize the potential of off-target movement."

USE AS PREPLANT BURNDOWN

No volatility is different than low volatility, maintains Bradley, who is also conducting herbicide movement tests in Missouri.

"Right now, my recommendation for growers who want to plant Xtend next year is that they use it in as a preplant burndown for weeds like marestail and giant ragweed, but that we do not spray these approved products postemergence in-crop in June and July," Bradley said.

"I know that's not exactly how farmers want to use it, and I know that's not how the industry wants it used. But when I look at all the injury, as objectively as possible, I don't think spraying it post is worth the risk," he said.

Bradley sees this as a compromise. Farmers who like the trait can still use it and still have a good tool for those tough-to-control winter annuals and early-emerging summer annuals. "We seemed to be able to use dicamba without trouble in the April/May timeframe. Everything broke loose here in June/July. Until we figure out exactly why, that is my recommendation," he said.

He also suggested that growers take a breath and forget about early seed discounts and resist pressure to book seed early. "I'm not worried about quality issues. Seed companies take that very seriously and will address those concerns," Bradley said.

"You need to know how those labels are going to change. Custom applicators are talking about cut-off spray dates. You need to be talking to all your suppliers and seeing where they stand."

Pamela Smith can be reached at Pamela.smith@dtn.com

Follow her on Twitter @PamSmithDTN

(ES/SK)


blog iconDTN Blogs & Forums
DTN Market Matters Blog
Editorial Staff
Monday, August 14, 2017 12:22PM CDT
Friday, August 11, 2017 12:22PM CDT
Monday, August 7, 2017 11:45AM CDT
Technically Speaking
Darin Newsom
DTN Senior Analyst
Monday, August 7, 2017 8:27AM CDT
Monday, August 7, 2017 8:25AM CDT
Monday, August 7, 2017 8:02AM CDT
Fundamentally Speaking
Joel Karlin
DTN Contributing Analyst
Friday, August 11, 2017 7:49AM CDT
Wednesday, August 9, 2017 10:34AM CDT
Friday, August 4, 2017 7:43AM CDT
DTN Ag Policy Blog
Chris Clayton
DTN Ag Policy Editor
Thursday, August 17, 2017 5:30PM CDT
Tuesday, August 15, 2017 6:14AM CDT
Monday, August 7, 2017 11:51PM CDT
Minding Ag's Business
Marcia Taylor
DTN Executive Editor
Friday, July 21, 2017 12:20PM CDT
Friday, July 7, 2017 9:36AM CDT
Wednesday, June 21, 2017 2:00PM CDT
DTN Ag Weather Forum
Bryce Anderson
DTN Ag Meteorologist and DTN Analyst
Friday, August 18, 2017 4:03PM CDT
Tuesday, August 8, 2017 2:38PM CDT
Friday, August 4, 2017 1:22PM CDT
DTN Production Blog
Pam Smith
Crops Technology Editor
Friday, August 4, 2017 6:19PM CDT
Friday, July 28, 2017 8:25AM CDT
Tuesday, July 18, 2017 4:49PM CDT
Harrington's Sort & Cull
John Harrington
DTN Livestock Analyst
Friday, August 18, 2017 2:30PM CDT
Friday, August 11, 2017 3:13PM CDT
Friday, July 21, 2017 1:23PM CDT
South America Calling
Alastair Stewart
South America Correspondent
Thursday, August 17, 2017 3:02PM CDT
Wednesday, July 26, 2017 10:41AM CDT
Thursday, June 29, 2017 6:21PM CDT
An Urban’s Rural View
Urban Lehner
Editor Emeritus
Monday, August 14, 2017 2:56PM CDT
Monday, August 7, 2017 3:09PM CDT
Monday, July 31, 2017 11:30AM CDT
Machinery Chatter
Jim Patrico
Progressive Farmer Senior Editor
Friday, August 18, 2017 4:11PM CDT
Tuesday, August 8, 2017 8:55AM CDT
Wednesday, August 2, 2017 11:23AM CDT
Canadian Markets
Cliff Jamieson
Canadian Grains Analyst
Friday, August 18, 2017 5:05PM CDT
Thursday, August 17, 2017 5:20PM CDT
Wednesday, August 16, 2017 5:30PM CDT
Editor’s Notebook
Greg D. Horstmeier
DTN Editor-in-Chief
Friday, August 18, 2017 11:33AM CDT
Monday, June 26, 2017 8:01AM CDT
Friday, June 2, 2017 9:41AM CDT
 
Copyright DTN. All rights reserved. Disclaimer.
Powered By DTN