Missouri allows dicamba use to resume, with conditions

2017-07-14T08:17:00Z Missouri allows dicamba use to resume, with conditionsBy Benjamin Herrold, Illinois Farmer Today Illinois Farmer Today

The Missouri Department of Agriculture announced July 13 it was ending the temporary ban on the sale and use of dicamba products, with certain conditions.

The ban was lifted for three herbicide products, BASF’s Eugenia, Monsanto’s XtendiMax and DuPont’s FeXapan.

“BASF, Monsanto and DuPont came to the table and agreed to additional safeguards for product use in response to issues we’ve faced this growing season,” Missouri Director of Agriculture Chris Chinn said in a release.

The department issued the temporary stop order on dicamba on July 7 to assess what needed to be done to reduce herbicide drift and off-target crop injury.

In a July 13 conference call after the department of agriculture announced its updated safeguards, Lisa Safarian, vice president of Monsanto North America, said the drift issues were a concern.

“Reports of leaf cupping in some states are deeply upsetting for Monsanto,” she said. “We’re in this with farmers.”

She also defended the use of dicamba products.

“(Farmers’) fields are cleaner than ever,” Safarian said. “It is meeting a critical need, and that’s why it’s already been used on 25 million acres.”

Safarian said Missouri’s Department of Agriculture is handling the situation well.

“We are encouraged by the approach taken in Missouri and Tennessee to make sure farmers still have access to the technology,” she said.

Robb Fraley, Monsanto’s chief technology officer, said he has been traveling around the country visiting with farmers, looking at fields and gathering information.

“This is an incredibly complex issue, and reacting based on speculation can do more harm than good,” he said.

Fraley said “most” of the damaged fields he saw were recovering, and he expected them to “yield normally.” He also said many farmers across the country are using dicamba products safely and effectively.

He said sprayer contamination and off-label herbicide use were key culprits in the drift damage issue.

“Many farmers commented that the off-label use of the dicamba products was high, up to 25 percent in some places,” Fraley said. “The extent of the off-label use was surprising to me and disturbing. It’s also illegal.”

New restrictions in Missouri include:

  • Applicators can’t apply the herbicide with wind speeds over 10 mph, and they must measure and record wind speed and direction..
  • Applicators must apply between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.
  • Applicators must keep a record of use for each application.

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