On October 31, 2018, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it is extending the registration of dicamba for two years for“over-the-top” use (application to growing plants) to control weeds in fields for cotton and soybean plants genetically engineered to resist dicamba. This action was informed by input from and extensive collaboration between EPA, state regulators, farmers, academic researchers, pesticide manufacturers, and other stakeholders.
“EPA understands that dicamba is a valuable pest control tool for America’s farmers,”said EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler.“By extending the registration for another two years with important new label updates that place additional restrictions on the product, we are providing certainty to all stakeholders for the upcoming growing season.”
What is dicamba?
Dicamba is a selective herbicide in the benzoic acid family of chemicals. It is registered for use in agriculture on corn, wheat and other crops.
Dicamba is also registered for non-agricultural uses in residential areas and other sites, such as golf courses. At these types of sites, it is primarily used to control broadleaf weeds such as dandelions, chickweed, clover and ground ivy.
Only dicamba products registered for use on genetically engineered cotton and soybean can be applied “over-the-top” (to growing plants). It is a violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) to use any dicamba product on crops that is not registered for over-the-top use on genetically engineered crops.” (Direct quote from the EPA website on Dicamba Procucts)
Due to the drift potential, the manufactures producing these products agreed to stricter registration and label changes. These new changes (training, record keeping etc.) will allow growers to make informed decisions and better protect their crops and any neighboring sensitive crops.
The following label changes were made to ensure that these products can continue to be used effectively while addressing potential concerns to surrounding crops and plants:
The Federal changes for 2019-2020 are:
- Two-year registration. (until December 20, 2020).
- Only certified applicators may apply dicamba over the top (those working under the supervision of a certified applicator may no longer make applications).
- Prohibit over-the-top application of dicamba on soybeans 45 days after planting and cotton 60 days after planting.
- For cotton, limit the number of over-the-top applications from 4 to 2 (soybeans remain at 2over-the-top applications).
- Applications will be allowed only from 1 hour after sunrise to 2 hours before sunset.
- In counties where endangered species may exist, the downwind buffer will remain at 110 feet and there will be a new 57-foot buffer around the other sides of the field. (the 110-foot downwind buffer applies to all applications, not just in counties where endangered species may exist).
- Clarify training period for 2019 and beyond, ensuring consistency across all three products
- Enhanced tank clean out instructions for the entire system.
- Enhanced label to improve applicator awareness on the impact of low pH’s on the potential volatility of dicamba.
- Label clean up and consistency to improve compliance and enforceability.
The registration for all dicamba products will automatically expire on December 20, 2020,unless EPA further extends it.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. I will be applying Xtendimax, Engenia, and FeXapan and I attended a training
last year, will I have to attend a training again in 2020?
Answer: Yes you have to attend the training every year.
2. Do I have to have a commercial or private applicators permit to purchase and
apply Xtendimax, Engenia, and FeXapan?
Answer: Yes you have to have a permit and the annual training.
3. Does my employee that is spraying the chemical have to have a permit?
- For 2019-2020: Only certified applicators may apply dicamba over the top (those working under the supervision of a certified applicator may no longer make applications)
4. How do I register for a training?
Answer: To register, go to www.aces.edu/go/957. Cost is $15
5. I attended a training in a neighboring state, can I use that to satisfy Alabama
Answer: No, you have to attend a training in Alabama to be in compliance. There will
be no reciprocity allowed from neighboring states.
If you have any questions please contact:
Rules and Regulations
Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries
Division Director Pesticide Management
1445 Federal Drive
Montgomery, AL 36107
334-240-7243 – Phone
Sonja Brannon Thomas, Ph.D.
Alabama Cooperative Extension System
Pesticide Applicator Training
245 Duncan Hall
Auburn University, Al. 36849