FJ Pulse: More than 40% of Soybean Producers Plan to Apply Dicamba

April 5, 2019 12:41 PM
In the most recent Farm Journal Pulse, farmers talked about dicamba—if they plan to use it, and how. Results show that 44% of farmers plan to apply dicamba or have it applied on their farms.

In the most recent Farm Journal Pulse, farmers talked about dicamba—if they plan to use it, and how. Results show that 44% of farmers plan to apply dicamba or have it applied on their farms.

Of the 644 responses, 30% said they went through training and plan to apply dicamba themselves, 13% said they’re hiring a custom applicator and 1% (six respondents) said they’ll be applying dicamba without training—illegally.

“Annual dicamba applicator training is mandatory as a part of the Restricted Use Pesticide classification of in-crop dicamba products,” Corteva Agriscience, the agriculture department of DowDuPont, said in a provided statement. Corteva “is providing in-person and online training to satisfy mandatory applicator training requirements.”

For the farmers who said they plan to apply dicamba illegally it could have serious consequences. Illegal application also includes using generics or other dicamba products over-the-top of soybeans and cotton it not labeled for that specific use.

“BASF strongly oppose the illegal use of dicamba and the off-label use of any product. Off-label applications negatively impacts the farming community, including those farmers who apply products legally. It’s critical that growers report instances of off-label applications. We’ll continue to support federal and state agency enforcement of illegal applications and laws that prohibit the use of unregistered dicamba formulations,” BASF said in a written statement to AgWeb.

Training is available in a variety of outlets, with some states allowing applicators to complete online training any time prior to application. Prior to purchasing dicamba products, applicators must first prove they’re certified.

“As we sit here today we’re approaching 30,000 trained applicators who went through training,” said Ryan Rubischko, Bayer North America dicamba portfolio lead. “Last year we just had 25,000 applicators. There is high awareness that training is required.”

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Bayer estimates Xtend traits will be on planted on 60 million soybean or cotton acres. This marks the fourth year of the germplasm and third year of legal dicamba application.

About 11% of Pulse respondents said they purchased Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans because of the advanced genetics, defensively or for another reason, with no intent to apply dicamba. For farmers using this approach an early attack against weeds is critical.

“In general, my recommendation for spray season is start clean with an effective burndown with residual and make the post application before weeds exceed four inches in height—about 20 to 30 days after planting,” said Greg Elmore, Bayer crop protection technology and development lead. “Use overlapping residual to maintain weed-free to canopy closure.”

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Spell Check

Hendrum, MN
4/5/2019 09:08 PM

  Spraying season has become my least favorite time of the growing season due to fear of spray drift onto my neighbor. Extend soybeans and the herbicides used on them, exacerbate that situation.

Denmark, WI
4/5/2019 03:36 PM

  According to this poll, 11% of all acres planted to soybeans will be planted with dicamba resistant traits solely for defensive measures (with no intention of using dicamba themselves). That's roughly 9.3 millions acres planted with an expensive tech variety solely for defense against what a neighbor might incorrectly spray and drift onto his plants. 1 out of every 5 bags of Xtend soybeans are bought and planted not due to what that bean can provide to the farmer purchasing, but because he's worried his neighbor is going to hurt his crop unless he protects it with this trait he's not actually using himself. This is what farming has come to... Sad state of affairs.

Waterloo, IA
4/6/2019 07:31 AM

  So true. I lost close to 40 bu/acre last year from Dicamba drift. I had to turn down a seed contract because they wanted me to raise Liberty beans. I know the neighbors will be using Dicamba even thought I won't because of the sensitive crops on the other side of me. The technology fee needs to be charged on the chemical, not on the seed so the people that actually use the spray pay for the technology, not the people that have to plant the seed for crop protection from a poor product.


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