Dicamba Drift Problems Not an Aberration

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Larry Steckel | Aug 08, 2018 in Southeast Farm Press

Dicamba drift across the landscape was the dominant call again this June and July.

Once again, Palmer amaranth control with dicamba was very good in many fields. This is the third year where there have been major issues keeping dicamba in the field, but Palmer amaranth control was good in fields where it was applied. It really dawned on me that this is not so much new, but after three consecutive years is, in fact, the “new normal.”

For three decades, I have had the privilege to make thousands of field visits to help growers troubleshoot problems. Every year, a number of those problems were drift-related. The herbicide drift in those calls would typically travel no farther than a couple hundred yards. In only a few cases can I recall it going much farther.

However, the drift we are saw this June and July in Tennessee with dicamba in the new use pattern in Xtend crops is like nothing I have ever seen before. I have never seen a herbicide that has so easily and frequently slipped the leash. Nor have I seen a herbicide that, once off the leash, would roam so far. Dicamba drift for the past three years has often traveled a half mile to three-quarters of a mile and, all too frequently, well beyond that.

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Dicamba drift problems not an aberration