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Dicamba a popular word in 2017

(CIFN file photo)

Dicamba was a popular word in the agricultural dictionary this year.

Many growers found success in fighting weeds, although others reported cupped soybean leaves and other issues from reported dicamba drift during the 2017 growing season.

Ryan Rubischko, dicamba portfolio lead for Monsanto, says a vast majority of growers his company has talked with have reported weed control is what they were expecting, really tackling those tough-to-control weeds. Rubischko acknowledges there has been some damage too.

“We wanted to be very proactive and work with those individuals as well,” Rubischko told The Central Illinois Farm Network during this year’s Farm Progress Show at Decatur.

Industry experts warn farmers that it is extremely important to review the application requirements. Errors have been observed in the countryside due to nozzle errors or not observing a required buffer zone.

Dicamba drifting to other fields seems to be the talk of the farming community as of late, but the idea of this happening is nothing new. In fact, it was determined back in 1967 that soybeans were sensitive to the broad-spectrum herbicide.

“It is not something we haven’t seen before,” said Dr. Aaron Hager, a weed scientist from the University of Illinois.

“If that’s our solution folks, I’ll give it three years,” Hager explained during an agronomy day event near Lexington last summer.

Hager notes the later applications are the ones which tend to get farmers in trouble. He believes in attacking species of herbicide resistant weeds at the most volatile stage of the life cycle. By doing whatever it takes to ensure no seeds get into a field, the weed population will eventually plummet.

In Hager’s opinion, the worst way to use the dicamba formulation is for a post emergence herbicide only. He reminded the crowd that 1996 was the first year scouting began for the first glyphosate-resistant weeds. Prior to that, Roundup was used in burndown applications.

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