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Illinois Extends Application Date for Dicamba
Illinois Ag Connection - 06/12/2019

The Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) announced Tuesday it will extend the application date the herbicide dicamba can be applied on soybeans in Illinois for the 2019 growing season until July 15. In February, the Department approved state-specific labels allowing for dicamba use on soybeans only until June 30. Dicamba is primarily used on soybeans to control post-emergence broadleaf weeds.

"Due to the extraordinary wet weather seen in this state during the spring planting season and with still over 50% of the soybean crop to be planted, the IDOA will extend the application date to apply dicamba until July 15th," said John Sullivan, director, IDOA. "This decision was not taken lightly, however, farmers have been under intense pressure related to the extreme wet weather conditions and hopefully this decision will provide some relief."

The extension will not be official until the department reviews and approves the registrants' Special Local Needs (SLN) product registration requests. The additional restrictions on dicamba set in February will remain in effect and are as follows:

1. Prohibiting application when the wind is blowing toward adjacent residential areas.

2. Required consultation of the FieldWatch sensitive crop registry before application, as well as compliance with all associated record keeping label requirements.

3. Maintaining the label-specified downwind buffer between the last treated row and the nearest downfield edge of any Illinois Nature Preserves Commission site.

4. Recommendation to apply product when the wind is blowing away from sensitive areas, which include but are not limited to bodies of water and non-residential, uncultivated areas that may harbor sensitive plant species. Anyone who planted before June 1st will remain subject to the original planting date plus 45 days after dicamba application, while anyone who planted after the June 1 deadline will be required to adhere to the extended July 15 cutoff date.

The intent of all these additional restrictions is to reduce the potential for off-target movement of this product, thereby reducing the potential for possible adverse impacts to dicamba-sensitive crops/areas. The decision to pursue state-specific SLN labels was made in response to the record number of misuse complaints IDOA received during the past two years.

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