Soybean field (D. Lingenfelter, Penn State Extension)
In 2018, there were approximately 90 million acres of total soybeans planted in the U.S. About 40 million or so acres were Xtend. In some areas of the country up to 80% of the soybean areas were planted to an Xtend variety. The exact amount of acres that actually applied either a pre or post application of dicamba is not known; however in most areas it was a rather large percentage. In Pennsylvania, there were about 595,000 acres of soybeans planted in the state; of those about 25% were Xtend. A good majority of them were sprayed with dicamba by private applicators with positive results. Many commercial applicators did not apply dicamba to Xtend soybeans this past season for various reasons. Expectations for the 2019 growing season are that the acres of Xtend soybeans will continue to increase and likely so now that the three Xtend-specific dicamba products, Engenia, Xtendimax, and FeXapan, have been re-registered by EPA until December 20, 2020. In addition to the existing label guidelines, the following label changes have been made to hopefully assist in reducing potential off target movement of these products:
- Only certified applicators may apply dicamba over-the-top (those working under the supervision of a certified applicator may no longer make applications)
- Prohibition of over-the-top application of dicamba on soybeans 45 days after planting
- Applications will be allowed only from 1 hour after sunrise to 2 hours before sunset
- In counties where endangered species may exist, the downwind buffer will remain at 110 feet and there will be a new 57-foot buffer around the other sides of the field (the 110-foot downwind buffer applies to all applications, not just in counties where endangered species may exist)
- Clarify training period for 2019 and beyond, ensuring consistency across all three products
- Enhanced tank clean-out instructions for the entire system
- Enhanced label to improve applicator awareness on the impact of low pHs on the potential volatility of dicamba
- Label clean up and consistency to improve compliance and enforceability
Over the next couple months, each of the companies will be updating their websites with the latest information about the new label restrictions and other details about the utility of their products.
Refer to the websites for information:
As a reminder, these products are classified as Restricted Use Products (or RUPs) and only those with dicamba-specific training/certificate and a PA pesticide license will be able to purchase and apply them. If you plan to use any of these next season, you will need to complete special training sessions before the growing season. Even if you completed the training last winter, you will need to take it again.