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Spraying equipment

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).
  • Prohibits over-the-top application of dicamba on soybeans 45 days after planting and cotton 60 days after planting.
  • For cotton and soybeans, only 2 over the top applications are allowed. Maximum use rate per acre per year is 2 lbs per acre per year. 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. (110-foot downwind buffer applies to all applications, not just in counties where endangered species may exist).
  • Clarifies 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.

Tavium with Vaporgrip® from Syngenta is labelled for use in dicamba tolerant crop for the 2020 season and requires mandatory training for applicators similar as other formulations (Xtendimax, Engenia and FeXapan). In contrast to other dicamba formulations, Tavium can only be applied once over the top of tolerant crop.

For cotton, the application window is up to 60 days after planting or through 6-leaf stage. For soybeans, the application can be made up to 45 days after planting or R1 stage, whichever occurs first. Label restrictions for Tavium such as buffer, wind speed, wind directions, record keeping, spray equipment cleaning, protecting sensitive crop and sensitive areas, etc., are the same as other dicamba formulations.

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?
        Answer: Yes
        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. I attended a training in a neighboring state, can I use that to satisfy Alabama
        training requirements?
        Answer: No, you have to attend a training in Alabama to be in compliance. There will
        be no reciprocity allowed from neighboring states.
      5. How do I register for a training?
        Answer: Alabama Extension has completed its 2020 auxin herbicide best management practice trainings. The Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries has approved these online training.  Complete the online training and download the certificate as proof of training.

    BASF Engenia Online Training Course

    Bayer XtendiMax Online Training Course

  1. Syngenta Online Training Course

    If you have questions, contact:

    Rules and Regulations

    Tony Cofer
    Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries
    Division Director Pesticide Management
    1445 Federal Drive
    Montgomery, AL 36107
    (334) 240-7243


    Steve Li
    Alabama Cooperative Extension System, Auburn University
    201 Funchess Hall
    Auburn University, AL  36849
    (334) 707-7370


    Auxin Herbicide Contact Information

    For more information regarding Auxin Herbicides, available training and if you have questions or concerns, call an Alabama Extension specialist or the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries.

    Steve Li

        • Extension Specialist – Assistant Professor Crop, Soil & Environmental Sciences
          • Mobile: (334) 707-7370

    David Russell

        • Extension Specialist – Crops, Soils and Environmental Sciences
          • Mobile: (601) 757-5663

    Tyler Sandlin

        • Extension Specialist, Crop, Soil and Environmental Sciences
          • Office: (256) 353-8702

    William Birdsong

        • Regional Extension Agent – Cooperative Extension Systems
          • Office: (334) 693-2957

    Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries

        • (334) 240-7243

    Click here to access the ADAI website section about Auxin Herbicides.


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