Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association
Supply · Service · Stewardship

Dicamba Complaints Update

As of July 6, 2018 the Illinois Department of Agriculture has received 142 formal complaints on alleged dicamba misuse.  Calls this week continue to come in to IDA, predominantly from farmers who are requesting investigations regarding symptoms in soybeans.  All but 5 of the 142 complaints are suspected dicamba impacts on soybean.  This brings the total number of pesticide complaints in Illinois to 259 since January.  Historically pesticide use complaints in Illinois have tracked around 100-120 total complaints in any given calendar year ever since IDA began keeping records in the early 1990s.  
As IDA investigators begin gathering information on these cases, it is important to remember that it can take months for the investigations to come to any final determination.  The role of the field investigator is to gather information in terms of obtaining copies of application records and conducting interviews with applicators and affected growers.  The final determination on whether there was a violation of any aspect of the Pesticide Act, whether it be applicator error or otherwise, is determined by an experienced team in the Bureau of Environmental Programs at IDA who reviews each case file.  There are provisions in the Pesticide Act to address applicator error or pesticide product issues.  
There won't be resolution on the investigations for some time, so while it is hard to be patient when crops appear to be impacted, patience is necessary to allow the procedures outlined in the IL Pesticide Act to play out.  The one thing IFCA can assure you is that the staff at the IDA Bureau of Environmental Programs is experienced and they are working very hard to do the best job possible to conduct the investigations in a timely manner, which can be a challenge.
IFCA is developing a survey for our members on their application experiences this year.  We hope to have the survey out to our members by the end of July and look forward to your feedback on how we can use this technology effectively.