BLOOMINGTON – Nearly 300 farmers showed up at a training session in Bloomington late last week to receive certification to spray certain herbicides.
Completion of the dicamba training allows growers to apply products known as Xtendimax, FeXapan and Engenia.
“These products are now restricted use pesticides,” explained Jack Marshall, technical service representative for BASF.
Marshall noted the importance of making sure the product is used safely and effectively moving forward. Broadleaf crops happen to be very susceptible to dicamba herbicide which will move where it needs to on a plant’s growing points to cause that plant to die. What a farmer is spraying next to is extremely important, since dicamba is extremely potent at really low levels.
“We weren’t always aware of our surroundings when we were making these applications.”
Product labels must be carefully followed as there are tank mix restrictions. Tanks should be cleaned before and after application to prevent tank contamination. The ideal spraying time for dicamba is three to four weeks after planting – when the beans and weeds are still fairly small.
“We need to be targeting early applications,” Marshall said.
Spraying of dicamba should only be done from sunrise to sunset to avoid temperature inversions at night. The sprayer boom must be 24 inches or less above the canopy and dicamba spraying should be done during wind speeds ranging from three to 10 miles per hour if the wind is blowing away from sensitive crops. Spraying is discouraged if the wind is below three or greater than 10 miles per hour.
Marshall believes every sprayer should have a wind meter handy to properly measure wind speed. He cautions against relying on a cell phone for the current conditions. The target is 15-20 gallons per acre for the best control and farmers should slow down when making applications.
The Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association is sponsoring a series of informational dicamba training sessions across the state this winter. For more information, visit www.ifca.com.