Scientists are concerned that the Environmental Protection Agency’s recently announced limits on dicamba herbicide use will not be effective in preventing widespread crop damage.
The federal agency [recently] approved the use of dicamba-based herbicides, such as Bayer’s XtendiMax, until 2020. However, it noted several restrictions in attempts to curb the herbicide’s off-target movement that has ruined more than 1.1 million acres of soybeans in the U.S. this year.
The new limits include prohibiting farmers from spraying the chemical on dicamba-tolerant soybeans 45 days after planting and on dicamba-tolerant cotton 60 days after planting.
Researchers say that this restriction won’t be effective, given that many farmers are likely to plant soybeans in late May and June. In Iowa, state agriculture officials received 90 percent of complaints about dicamba misuse after June 15, 2017.
It would make more sense to impose a date to stop dicamba use, since hot summer temperatures can cause dicamba to drift and damage crops in other fields, said Bob Hartzler, weed scientist at Iowa State University.
“It’s sort of frustrating that EPA had a teleconference with academic weed scientists asking what we felt would be appropriate measures, and not a single one of those is in the new label,” Hartzler said.
Read full, original article: Scientists say EPA’s dicamba restrictions won’t be strong enough to stop crop damage