The herbicide dicamba has been used for decades in corn and pastures, but in 2017, it was approved for soybeans.
In the last year, application problems with the product has caused thousands of complaints across the U.S. Because of that, registrants of dicamba like DuPont, BASF, and Monsanto worked with the EPA to revise labels. In the Fall, the EPA came up with a new label, calling dicamba a "restricted-use" product.
At the end of 2017, the Iowa Department of Agriculture announced dicamba-specific training requirements.
Deputy Secretary Mike Naig says in order to apply dicamba over-the-top of crops, the training is mandatory, "An applicator must be, one, a certified applicator, that means they've gone through a pesticide training, and two that they required that they have completed that dicamba specific training so you do need to have completed those two trainings in order to legally apply the product in 2018."
Naig says with joint effort from the ag industry, they hope they can educate applicators to safely and effectively apply dicamba.
Training is expected to go on from January through March, before the 2018 growing season starts.
Naig says the dicamba-specific training will be held by the pesticide manufactures who will likely partner with ag retailers and coops. The training will cover new use patterns, application requirements and buffers, temperature inversions, record-keeping, tank cleaning, and off target movement.
"Producers need and want tools to control weeds and there are some difficult to manage weeds." Naig says, "Dicamba products are certainly a tool that folks would like to have access to. But, there is certainly a learning curve associated with this new use of this product."
To help out applicators, the Iowa Department of Agriculture is working with the Agribusiness Association of Iowa to host a website that has more on training schedules and EPA information.
You can find that at: http://www.dicambatrainingiowa.org
In full disclosure, the Agribusiness Association of Iowa owns and operates the Agribusiness Report.