Later on this summer there were many reports of dicamba moving to off target areas. In response to this the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association (MSGA) formed the Minnesota Soybean Growers Drift Task Force. Many Minnesota soybean growers are having a difficult time controlling tough weeds like waterhemp and giant ragweed. The dicamba soybeans allows for this growth regulator herbicide to be used on soybeans. It is very effective controlling waterhemp and giant ragweed.

MSGA secretary Bob Worth chaired the Task Force. I believe the idea was to confront the off target movement issue, try and find some ways to better deal with it and to make sure that Minnesota Soybean Growers had a seat at the table when the Minnesota Department of Agriculture considered changes to the dicamba label for next year. This is an important tool in soybean growers tool box.

The Drift Task Force after working with Minnesota Soybean Growers, University of Minnesota extension specialists, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, agricultural chemical companies, pesticide applicators, ag retailers and other concerned parties have come up with some recommendations.

Adopt 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

I should point out that the Federal EPA label for applying Dicamba must be followed in Minnesota. However, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture can further restrict the use of dicamba or ban it completely in Minnesota. It was a good move for the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association to get involved and take this issue head on. The final decision still rests with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. They can consider and adopt the Task Force recommendations or they could totally ignore them.