Home 5 Ag Stories Dicamba training close to wrapping up in Iowa

Dicamba training close to wrapping up in Iowa

Photo by Dustin Hoffmann

Wednesday Morning found me in Osceola, Iowa for a Dicamba training session. During Commodity Classic, I was invited by the folks at Bayer to attend this meeting. It is a good chance for this journalist to get to see the training farmers are taking, first-hand.

Audio: Full Interview with Bayer’s Ryan Rubischko 

The rules for applying dicamba have changed slightly this year. It is essential that producers who are applying dicamba are recertified for 2019. If you haven’t recertified for this year, your time to get to a training session is running out. This year’s training will only be good for 2019. You will have to recertify again in 2020. You can find a list of remaining sessions on a schedule available through the Agribusiness Association of Iowa. There are also options for taking an online training course as well. These programs are also available from Bayer, so you have a chance to look back at the program as a refresher before you start the application.

Audio: Interview with Bayer’s Dicamba trainer Duane Horsley 

Speaking of rule changes for 2019, here are a couple of the changes:

  • Record Keeping is required for each application of Dicamba. Each field is a separate application. If you also stop spraying one field but come back to finish it later, it is two different applications. Spraying records must be recorded in 72 hours. This is a change from 14 days, last year.
  • You must record in your spray records where you adjusted for sensitive crops. There are a few options to gather information of registered sensitive crops. You can look at https://fieldwatch.com/ to see a registry of sensitive crops. You can also talk to owners of the surrounding property. Whatever route you take, you must document it.
  • Every applicator of dicamba must be certified. No longer can multiple applicators be covered under a single-certification.
  • Downwind Buffers for endangered species will be 110 feet. All the other sides will be 57 feet. Endangered Species guidelines can be found here.

The state of Iowa has no special restrictions above and beyond the guidelines set forth by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) at the Federal level. The following are the rules in place:

  • Applications can only be done one hour after sunrise and two hours before sunset.
  • Temperatures cannot exceed 85 degrees.
  • Over the top applications can only be done up to 45 days after planting of soybeans.

Bayer’s Ryan Rubischko says the best thing you can do to maximize your results from Xtendimax is to have a plan in place, then follow it.

The training covered the rule changes and reinforced the continuing guidelines. Also, they addressed the best practices for dealing with different weed species, as well as preventing any chances of building weed resistance. This point was driven home several times. If producers are suspecting any kind of weed resistance, they are encouraged to contact Bayer, so they can send personnel out to check into the situation. Also, they want to know if your fields or a neighboring field experience any damage. They are not here to place blame. They want to see your application records to see if a mistake could have been made, or they want to get on top of any issues that shouldn’t be arising.

They also spent a fair amount of time talking about how to prevent off-target movement or “drift”. The speaker was adamant about taking precautions to prevent this. They discussed lessons learned over the past few years. Downwind drift was considered more in 2018, because of what they learned in 2017. The main take away from this segment was making sure you “control the controllable”.

Rubischko says it really comes down to common sense application practices.

Cleaning and proper disposal was another well-covered topic. Responsibility was the key element in this information presented to farmers. Trainers want to drive home the fact that they wanted producers to do a proper job of disposal. They don’t want to see any dangers to the environment and wildlife. Trainer Duane Horsley talks about those changes.

This is the third year of certification training. In the years since the program was begun, there have been significant drops in reports of dicamba drift damage, while there has been an increase of acreage using the product system. Some opponents of dicamba usage are saying there is a correlation between the increase of acreage and the decrease in report percentages. However, when you put look at the final report numbers, this isn’t the case. The training can show effectiveness in educating applicators.

Bayer has a website for application requirements for certified users to refresh themselves with at their Xtendimax website. Horsley explains what information Bayer wants to stay on top of.