Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association
Supply · Service · Stewardship

Dicamba Stewardship: Sensitive Crops and Sensitive Areas Are Not the Same Thing

IFCA has been contributing articles to ag industry publications including Prairie Farmer, Illinois Farmer Today, Farmweek and Illinois Agrinews stressing the importance of understanding the new labels for dicamba use on soybeans.  
One of the items on these labels that seems to get misunderstood is the difference between sensitive crops and sensitive areas.  According to the labels for XtendiMax, FeXapan and Engenia, there is a DO NOT APPLY statement if there is a sensitive commercial crop growing adjacent and downwind of the field of application.  This means you cannot "buffer" the adjacent sensitive crop that is downwind--the labels say DO NOT APPLY.  Thus is is very important to identify the type of soybeans or other crops that are adjacent to an Xtend soybean field that may receive a post-application of these new herbicide products.  You won't know which way the wind is blowing until the day of application and there is a 3 mph wind speed requirement, so if you are planning to use these products, identifying the adjacent crops is required by the label so that you can determine if you can or cannot apply the product.  
For "sensitive areas" there is a downwind buffer requirement.  Sensitive areas are everything but the few items listed on the labels that are NOT sensitive including other dicamba tolerant crops, corn, roads and the footprint of a building that has a walls or roof.  Please note this leaves a lot of other things in the "sensitive" category including grassy areas, trees, shrubs, pastures, CRP, pollinator plots, etc. This will be enforced if there are complaints.   
Please print and share the IFCA Dicamba "Do's and Don'ts" poster available here.  There won't be a chance for "do-over's" and this is only a two year label so stewardship is paramount.  And please educate your customers so that everyone knows that it is a WILLFUL VIOLATION of federal and state law to apply unapproved dicamba herbicdes on soybeans.  Only Engenia, Xtendimax and FeXapan are approved for use in soybeans.  The consequences for applying other formulations that are not labeled are severe.