The first dicamba-specific training sessions for farmers and certified spray applicators in Iowa were announced Jan. 10. The series will begin Jan. 22 at the Monsanto Learning Center at Huxley in central Iowa and continues at various locations on different dates around the state, ending on Feb. 1. That’s what’s on the Dicamba Training in Iowa website as of today.
The Agribusiness Association of Iowa is hosting the website listing dates, times and locations of training programs that have been approved by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. The information listed will be updated as training programs are approved, says Mike Naig, Iowa deputy secretary of agriculture. The training sessions are aimed at reducing off-target drift damage that plagued soybean growers in 2017.
Training required if applying dicamba
“This additional training is required for anyone planning to spray the restricted use dicamba herbicides XtendiMax, Engenia and FeXapan on dicamba tolerant soybeans,” Naig says. The dicamba training is separate from the traditional pesticide applicator continuing instruction courses for private, commercial, public and noncommercial applicators and handlers. Whether you plan to apply the new dicamba products postemergence, premergence or as a burndown herbicide, you must take the training.
In October, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency classified the three new dicamba formulations as restricted-use pesticides after widespread off-target damage was reported last year. An estimated 3.6 million acres of U.S. soybeans were injured by off-target dicamba applications in 2017, including more than 150,000 acres in Iowa.
“This past growing season showed how important it is for applicators to closely follow the product label when using dicamba products,” Naig says.
IDALS, ISU develop training program
The Iowa Department of Ag worked with Iowa State University to develop program topics and approved the training, which will be delivered by registered providers.
The expanded training should help reduce off-target movement, although it likely won’t completely eliminate the problem, Naig says.
The training sessions will cover new use patterns for dicamba tolerant soybeans, new application restrictions, including wind speed and direction, buffer requirements, temperature inversions, changes in record-keeping requirements, sprayer tank cleanout and off-target movement.
Dicamba website provides information
This website also provides additional information related to the regulations of dicamba-based products for use with dicamba-resistant soybeans, says Kristine Schaefer, pesticide safety education program manager for ISU Extension.
Applicators must retain records that show they attended an Iowa Department of Ag approved auxin training session prior to use of the product, she says. Auxin training is not required prior to purchase or sale of Engenia, FeXapan herbicide Plus VaporGrip Technology, and Xtendimax with VaporGrip Technology in Iowa.