Nov. 30, 2017
The Minnesota Soybean Growers Association Drift Task Force issued its first findings in the form of a letter to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.
The Drift Task Force, comprised of soybean farmers and interested parties, acknowledged to MDA Commissioner Dave Frederickson that dicamba isn’t a solution without risks. In order to manage those risks, the Drift Task Force recommends MDA:
• Adapt a new EPA label for Minnesota
• Determine a cutoff date for application with collaboration from industry, the University of Minnesota and MDA, and implement the cutoff date immediately
• Adaptation would include the temperature cutoff statement: Do not apply if predicted or actual temperature high is 85 degree Fahrenheit or above.
• Initiate educational opportunities for proper use and stewardship of these products immediately
• The Drift Task Force’s findings come on the heels of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) tightening of dicamba labels, which addresses the physical/particle drift of the product.
MSGA Secretary Bob Worth, who chairs the Drift Task Force, said EPA’s label for physical drift works on a national setting, but the task force found that after reviewing all the scientific literature and working with extension and weed specialists across the nation, EPA’s label doesn’t adequately address vapor drift.
“Vapor drift is concerning because once dicamba vaporizes, we can’t predict where it’ll go,” he said. “In order to protect Minnesota soybean producers, our recommendation to the Department of Ag addresses vapor drift. We feel this needs to be addressed at the state level.”
The Drift Task Force is comprised of MSGA and Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSR&PC) directors. University of Minnesota extension specialists, MDA, agricultural chemical companies, Minnesota pesticide applicators, ag retailers and other concerned parties have worked with the task force as consultants.