Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association
Supply · Service · Stewardship

Dicamba: What is Success or Failure in 2018?

It’s difficult to recall the debut of a weed management technology that generated more divisiveness than the 2017 introduction of dicamba-resistant soybean varieties and the accompanying use of dicamba.  Damage to off-target vegetation from myriad sources of exposure resulted in not only monetary losses, but also untold costs to professional and personal relationships.  Trust that took years to build was damaged or lost in the span of one growing season.  This includes the public trust in pesticide use.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in response to the unprecedented number of complaints, issued several amendments to the XtendiMax, Engenia, and FeXapan labels last October that will impact all purchases and applications of these products in 2018 and beyond.  The intent of these label amendments is to reduce sensitive plant species exposure to dicamba primarily through physical movement (i.e., drift during the application or particle movement during temperature inversions) or via dicamba residues dislodged from application equipment, but these modifications will do nothing to reduce exposure via volatility.
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