I have had several questions recently about the new training requirement for the dicamba technology products. Below is information provided by OSU Extension Weed Specialist Mark Loux, along with trainings in our area that I know of at this point.
Following a summer with many instances of off-target movement of dicamba across the country from use in Xtend soybeans, the labels for Engenia, XtendiMax, and FeXapan were modified in an attempt to reduce future problems. These products became restricted use pesticides, and an additional requirement is that anyone applying (including the actual applicator under a direct supervision provision) these products must attend annual dicamba or group 4 herbicide-specific training, and have proof that they did so. Details are still being worked out on this training for Ohio, but it will not be conducted by OSU Extension, or accomplished through OSU winter agronomy or pesticide recertification meetings. At this point, as far as we know it appears that it will be conducted by Monsanto, BASF, and DuPont at meetings held specifically by them for this purpose, and also possibly through an online training module. Trainings that I am aware of in the Wayne County area include:
- Hubner Seed Winter Meeting, January 16 at the Hilton Garden Inn, Wooster. Dicamba training will be mid-morning. RSVP by January 9 to Mike Yoder. Phone or text: 330-243-0267 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Shearer Equipment John Deere Day, January 25 at the Fisher and Shisler Conference Center on the OARDC campus in Wooster. There will be a training session in the morning and another in the afternoon. Check the events agenda for specific times.
OSU, Purdue, and U. of Illinois have put together a fact sheet on stewardship of dicamba, which is available at u.osu.edu/osuweeds. The fact sheet does not include all of the application requirements from labels, but it also contains some suggestions on stewardship that are not part of labels. Unlike the three companies selling these products, whose position is that applicator error was responsible for most off-target problems in 2017, university weed scientists concluded that volatilization of dicamba caused many of them. University weed scientists are not convinced that the label changes adequately address the potential for volatilization to occur, or provide conservative enough guidelines to help applicators assess how and where (and more importantly – where not) to apply dicamba in Xtend soybeans. OSU’s position on the use of dicamba in Xtend soybeans has not changed over the past year. We feel that restricting dicamba use to early-season use, as a component of no-till burndown treatments would greatly minimize off-target problems. This is not to say there is no risk of movement or damage when used early-season. Just because risk to non-Xtend soybeans or other crops is low because they have not emerged yet, does not mean there is not risk to nearby fruit trees, vegetables, ornamentals, etc. However, post emergence use of dicamba accounted for most of the off-target problems in 2017, and we would expect a similar trend in 2018.