Farmers encouraged to take survey on alleged dicamba damage

July 24, 2018 / by Minnesota Department of Agriculture Categories: Association News, Minnesota Soybean Growers Association

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is again gathering information on plant damage that may have been caused by the use of the herbicide dicamba. The MDA is encouraging anyone with damage in the 2018 growing season to complete a survey or register a formal complaint. The survey will be open until Sept. 15.

Last year, the MDA received 253 complaints related to the use of dicamba in Minnesota. The complaints centered on off-target movement that impacted non-dicamba tolerant soybeans, other sensitive crops, and non-crop plants. The University of Minnesota estimates the damaged area totaled 265,000 acres across the state.

In an effort to prevent off-target movement incidents this year, the MDA added additional restrictions to the herbicide’s application: a June 20 cutoff date and an 85 degree Fahrenheit temperature cutoff. As of July 23, 2018, the MDA had received 30 reports of alleged dicamba damage. Not all of those reports requested an investigation.

“It is important that we continue to monitor the situation this year and gather as much data as we can,” said Assistant Commissioner Susan Stokes. “Last year’s survey gave us very valuable information, and this year’s survey will help the department as we look ahead to the 2019 growing season.”

Dicamba is an herbicide used to control broadleaf weeds in dicamba tolerant soybeans, corn and a variety of other food and feed crops, as well as in residential areas. Dicamba belongs to a class of herbicides that are volatile, and can drift and/or volatilize from the intended application area if not used according to the label. Off-target movement may cause unintended impacts such as serious damage to non-targeted crops.

If you believe dicamba was used in violation of the label or law, and you wish to request an MDA investigation, you will also need to complete the pesticide misuse complaint form or call the Pesticide Misuse Complaint line at 651-201-6333.

You can find more information on dicamba at http://www.mda.state.mn.us/dicamba.

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