EPA tightens labels of 3 dicamba herbicides for 2018 to help reduce drift

cupped leaves dicamba drift
Off-target movement of dicamba damaged these soybeans. The cupped leaves are a telltale symptom.

The Environmental Protection Agency, in collaboration with state pesticide regulators, has made a number of changes to the label of three dicamba herbicides for 2018, including making them restricted use materials.

The new requirements, reached in agreement with Monsanto, BASF and DuPont, apply to over-the-applications of XtendiMax with VaporGrip technology, Engenia and FeXapan with VaporGrip technology and are designed to reduce drift potential.

In a series of discussions, EPA worked with states, land-grant universities and the pesticide manufacturers to examine the underlying causes of recent crop damage in the Farm Belt and Southeast, according to a news release. The agency carefully reviewed the available information and developed label changes for the 2018 growing season.

Manufacturers have voluntarily agreed to the changes that impose additional requirements for over-the-top use of these products on Xtend soybeans and XtendFlex cotton next year. Among the changes in the 40-page label are:

• Classifying products as “restricted use,” permitting only certified applicators with special training, and those under their supervision, to apply them; dicamba-specific training for all certified applicators to reinforce proper use;

• Requiring farmers to maintain specific records regarding the use of these products to improve compliance with label restrictions;

• Limiting applications to when wind speeds are between 3 mph and 10 mph (from 15 mph) to reduce potential spray drift;

• Reducing the times during the day when applications can occur –  the new label allows applications only between sunrise and sunset, effectively prohibiting nighttime spraying;

• Including tank clean-out language to prevent cross contamination; and

• Enhancing susceptible crop language and record keeping with sensitive crop registries to increase awareness of risk to especially sensitive crops nearby.

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