Dicamba damage complaints spike early
The 2018 growing season feels like déjà vu, says Jean Payne, Illinois Chemical and Fertilizer Association president, as farmers and applicators watch soybeans cup and pesticide misuse claims multiply from off-target dicamba movement.
University of Illinois weed scientist Aaron Hager says he walked an off-target dicamba soybean field on June 6, about two weeks earlier than in 2017, and estimates 150,000 impacted acres as of the third week in June.
According to Payne, the Illinois Department of Agriculture has received 66 formal complaints related to dicamba. “Most are generated from central Illinois at this time,” she says, adding that the department continues to take many injury-related calls.
“The phone calls I’ve received from retailers are those of disbelief coupled with frustration,” Payne says. “They felt they had the surrounding fields mapped, they knew where the sensitive crops and areas were, they applied on days when the winds were within label and blowing away from those areas, and they were extremely cautious.”
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