Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association
Supply · Service · Stewardship

How Illinois Department of Ag made its dicamba decision

The Illinois Department of Agriculture last month drew a line in the sand for 2020 dicamba herbicide applications, cutting them off at June 20 and 85 degrees F. But how did it land on that date? And that temperature?
“We didn’t take the decision lightly,” says Doug Owens, head of IDOA’s Bureau of Environmental Programs. “Director Sullivan ultimately had to approve that decision, and I know from observation it was very tough.”
The “why” of the decision is clear: Complaints about off-target movement were too high. Director John Sullivan was on record early in his appointment saying the number of off-target dicamba complaints had to come down in 2019. They didn’t. In fact, they more than doubled, from 330 in 2018 to 720 in 2019.
“We had to take some kind of action,” Owens says. “Our goal is to maintain use of the technology while still trying to protect growers and other individuals who have crops or plants that are sensitive to off-target dicamba movement.”
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