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MDA dicamba misuse investigations find common label violations

In 2021, there were 304 reports of alleged dicamba misuse which resulted in 120 dicamba investigations.

EP Agriculture

ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is continuing its investigations into the alleged misuse of dicamba herbicide products intended for dicamba-tolerant soybeans, though on-going work reveals a pattern of issues with label violations.

In 2021, there were 304 reports of alleged dicamba misuse which resulted in 120 dicamba investigations. Due to the significant number of investigations, the MDA does not expect to complete the review and enforcement related to the investigations prior to the 2022 growing season.

However, based on the dicamba investigations reviewed to date, the MDA has documented multiple incidents of the following label violations:

  • Failing to provide proof of and/or attend dicamba-specific training.
  • Failing to measure the wind speed at boom height.
  • Applying dicamba when sensitive plants, crops, or residential areas were downwind.
  • Failing to document that a sensitive crop registry/specialty crop registry was consulted.
  • Failing to record a survey of adjacent areas.
  • Incomplete application records.

A vast majority of the associated dicamba application records reviewed by MDA field investigators were incomplete. Missing, inaccurate, or partially recorded information does not meet the label requirements and, therefore, is a violation of the label. The MDA will continue to enforce the use of these products by investigating reports of alleged dicamba misuse and reviewing dicamba application records.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approved the following Minnesota-specific restrictions in 2022 for three dicamba products: XtendiMax by Bayer, Engenia by BASF, and Tavium by Syngenta.

Date cutoff:

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Do not apply south of Interstate 94 after June 12.

Do not apply north of Interstate 94 after June 30.

Statewide temperature cutoff: Do not apply if the air temperature of the field at the time of application is over 85 degrees Fahrenheit or if the National Weather Service’s forecasted high temperature for the nearest available location for the day exceeds 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Forecasted temperature must be recorded at the start of the application.

In addition to the cutoff date, Xtendimax and Tavium have crop growth stage cutoffs.

Applicators must follow all product label directions and restrictions. The product labels can be found on the product manufacturer’s websites (Bayer, BASF or Syngenta).

Additional information regarding the Minnesota-specific restrictions can be found at www.mda.state.mn.us/dicamba-frequently-asked-questions-faq.

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