The EPA Giveth, The EPA Can, and Will Taketh Away


Yesterday, we heard from NC State Extension Weed Science Professor Emeritus, Dr. Alan York regarding this season’s weed challenges.  Today, York talks about the limited registration label for dicamba:

“We literally got the labels this last winter.  So far, some is being used, and so far, I’m hearing pretty good reports.  But, just about now is when we’re really going to start seeing them going out.

“I am hearing issues from growers in the mid-south not being happy with their activity on Palmer amaranth, and that doesn’t surprise me.  they are going with RoundUp and one of the dicamba products, and if you have resistance, dicamba is having to do all the work.  And we have consistently seen that it’s got pretty good activity, but it’s no silver bullet.  So, one application, some will get sick, some will die, some will come back to life, but it’s really going to take two applications to get the kind of control people are expecting with one application, it’s going to take two.

“We are very concerned about off-target deposition, we went through all this training this winter, trying to make people aware of some of the issues.  We do have a lot of crops that are sensitive to auxen herbicides, and with the amount of seed out there, we’re talking dicamba at the moment.  But, things like tobacco, and soybeans and sweet potatoes, very sensitive to dicamba.  We want to continue to encourage the growers to be careful to use the right kinds of nozzles, and we want to remind them that on the label for all the registered dicamba products there is a website and they can go to those websites to check out what kind of nozzles they’re supposed to use.

“I want to emphasize that they do need to do that.  The EPA and all the regulatory people, they consider that website an extension of the label, and you’re supposed to follow the label. 

“If you get caught up in a drift complaint, and you were using the wrong nozzle, not the approved nozzle, well, they’re going to check off as being one of your sins that day.

“Also, we want to continue to emphasize; be careful of what you’re around watch the wind direction, don’t spray if the wind is towards a sensitive crop, period.  We need to avoid these issues, because if we get into a lot of complaints, EPA has already told us that we have temporary registration for these products, and we don’t have enough sense to use them, so they’ll pull the registration.”

We’ll continue our conversation with Dr. Alan York on dicamba use and other important topics tomorrow on Inside Agriculture

A native of the Texas Panhandle, Rhonda was born and raised on a cotton farm where she saw cotton farming evolve from ditch irrigation to center pivot irrigation and harvest trailers to modules. After graduating from Texas Tech University, she got her start in radio with KGNC News Talk 710 in Amarillo, Texas.