Dicamba beans

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The Illinois Department of Agriculture announced March 1 it will require Special Local Needs labels, including new restrictions, for the use of the herbicide dicamba on soybeans in Illinois for the 2019 growing season.

On Feb. 15, IDOA notified the manufacturers of the three dicamba-containing products approved for over-the-top application to dicamba-tolerant soybeans that additional application restrictions will be required, according to a news release. The additional restrictions beyond federally-approved labels are:

1. The implementation of a cutoff date of June 30 for application.

2. Prohibiting application when the wind is blowing toward adjacent residential areas.

3. Required consultation of the FieldWatch sensitive crop registry before application, as well as compliance with all associated record-keeping label requirements.

4. Maintaining the label-specified downwind buffer between the last treated row and the nearest downfield edge of any Illinois Nature Preserves Commission site.

5. Recommendation to apply product when the wind is blowing away from sensitive areas, which include but are not limited to bodies of water and non-residential, uncultivated areas that may harbor sensitive plant species.

The decision to pursue state-specific Special Local Needs labels was made in response to the record number of misuse complaints IDOA received during the past two years. In 2017, IDOA received 430 total complaints, 246 of which were related to the use of dicamba on soybeans. Those numbers rose to 546 total complaints, including 330 dicamba-related complaints, in calendar year 2018.