Jun 26, 2017
Tom Atkins from northeast Pennsylvania has a comment about dicamba and 2,4D:
"I am 69 years old; we have been using both of these products in our farming ops in NE PA for as long as I can remember without incident. They both are invaluable tools. I find it
difficult to understand why we must always be on the defensive regarding our farming practice
because someone else ‘MAY’ not be considerate or respectful of our needs when they decide to plant a vineyard in the middle of dairy country!"
Tom thanks for writing. Two points in response. First, off-target herbicides are a form of trespass, and in my book property rights are to be respected scrupulously.
Second, like you, I sprayed "Bicep and Banvel" as my standard weed control for years, but I did experience both drift and volatilization and made sure my neighbors knew I would make them whole for any damage from my actions. Using dicamba today is not the same thing.
Here is the reason. The ideal time to spray corn with dicamba was at 5" or Coke-can-size. Spraying bigger corn risked damage to the corn because of the growth regulator mode of action.
I remember corn twisted and laying down, for example. At that point in the season, there were very few beans out of the ground in neighboring fields, so the risk of serious injury was minimal.
The problem today is we're talking about far more acres being sprayed with far more dicamba when beans are not in the early vegetative period, but well into flowering and pod set. At that stage, serious yield hits are possible.
My guess is this issue will be heavily influenced, if not decided, by lawsuits and insurance companies. Dicamba is a powerful tool badly needed for resistant weeds, but if we expect others to respect our property rights, we must do the same.