I have been hearing and reading about Dicambia herbicide drifting to non-target crops in Missouri and Arkansas. This is a big issue because Dicambia is the active ingredient in Monsato's Xtendimax and BASF"s Engenia. Normally soybeans are killed by Dicambia. However some soybean varieties have a trait that allows them to tolerate Dicambia. This is the first year it has been approved to plant these soybean varieties and use the herbicides in Minnesota. We are much farther north in the soybean growing area. So farther south they have already applied their post emergence herbicides to their beans. We have a chance to learn from what has happened to them!

Those of us that have been farming for a long time have experience with the "growth regulator" herbicides like Dicambia and 2-4 D. You had to pay attention to the direction of the wind so the herbicides did not drift over to a sensitive crop. The "growth regulators" are also prone to temperature aversions where the herbicide can move longer distances to off target sensitive crops. It was the late 1970's when I last used the growth regulators like Dicambia and 2-4 D.

One major difference between using them now and back in the 1970's is the time of year and crop development. Back then the corn was only a couple inches tall or less and the beans were not even emerged yet. There were not really any other sensitive crops growing except maybe a few alfalfa fields. Another difference is in June we have much warmer temperatures and more concern with temperature inversions. Spraying this much later in the growing season is a whole new situation.

The new formulations of Dicambia have been reformulated to decrease the risk of it moving to off target areas. At this point we are not really sure just how serious the reports are of Dicanbia moving off target. Maybe it is just being "hyped" by the media? However it sounds pretty serious. With all the reports of waterhemp and giant ragweed developing resistance to some herbicides, we need the growth regulators in our weed control tool box for soybeans.

If it turns out there are a lot of problems with drift the Minnesota Department of Agriculture has the power to remove these products from the market. So, we need to be careful and follow the label. Always read and follow label directions! By the way, in the picture is a row or two of my beans that were killed when my neighbor when he sprayed his corn. At least the herbicide killed the weeds too!

More From KDHL Radio