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Veteran Advisor
Posts: 1,215
Registered: ‎06-30-2010
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Re: What If EPA Restricts Dicamba?

[ Edited ]

This fall should tell the story on how much bu/acre damages really show up in the hopper.  Personally anticipate EPA to have more direction/restrictions on applications with questionable success.  It also wouldn't surprise me if EPA tries restricting purchases of all dicamba products to "commercial" applicators only, although many of us use it for spraying broadleaf weeds around the farm, not just for burndowns or tolerant soybeans.  Having a "cutoff" date in the spring would eliminate a lot of the damage, but would also potentially limit tolerant soybean sales, and also some of the later burndowns.  Local elevators this year did not spray dicamba in-crop, only for burndown, but there was still some local damages due to drift from later burndowns, and in-crop applications by others.

 

Otherwise, it appears it might be necessary to spend more and plant the dicamba tolerant soybeans in self-defense regardless.  This is obviously what the seed/chemical companies want (at least the ones that have the products on the market).  Then, just like with roundup-ready,  essentially all the seed will eventually have the trait, and we will all be paying for it anyway.

 

Plus, we have the crop insurance aspect of crop damages caused by chemicals or chemical applications.  These are tough for insurance adjusters to spot after harvest, but don't get any ideas, people are watching.  Dicamba (and other non-covered) damages need to be reported already so that appropriate arrangements/instructions can be provided to avoid potential insurance claim problems and affix potential liabilities where they belong.

 

As has been stated in various farm publications -- obviously, not all dicamba complaints are reported.  According to Univ of MO info, there are 257 investigations of complaints ongoing in MO, covering 325,000 acres.  The state with the most appears to be Arkansas, 876 investigations covering 900,000 acres.  Third in line appears to be Illinois, 214 investigations covering 600,000 acres.