Dicamba Myths Busted

You know that dicamba is an effective weed management tool, and you have taken the class to ensure you spray safely and effectively. Despite the training and education, like all newer technologies, there are rumors about dicamba's safety. Here, we clarify a few common myths and misperceptions.

Myths

Facts

Dicamba and glyphosate basically do the same thing.

Both dicamba and glyphosate have been used for decades on farms, gardens and lawns. Dicamba is specific to broadleaf weeds, such as dandelions, poison ivy and Palmer amaranth (pigweed), while glyphosate is not specific and can also control grass weeds. Using a combination of the two can help delay the resistance of weeds to herbicides.

Using pesticides is simple. I just need to spray my crops to kill the weeds.

Pesticides work best when applied the right way; following the label requirements (timing, amount, placement and more) is key in the safety and effectiveness of pesticide use. Make sure to read and closely follow the pesticide product label before application.

Dicamba has not been safety-tested.

Weed killers, including dicamba, undergo comprehensive safety assessments by regulatory authorities, such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), in addition to independent researchers and global experts.

If my spray boom height is correct, then my spray will come out uniformly, and I do not need to worry about wind direction.

Height of the spray boom and wind direction are important to any pesticide application. Boom height impacts the efficacy of application by affecting the uniformity of the spray along the length of the boom, and wind direction determines if spray droplets travel toward the target or toward unintended downward areas. The label for XtendiMax® herbicide with VaporGrip® Technology, a restricted use pesticide, includes a maximum boom height. Always spray as directed on the individual product label.

Inversion and drift are the same thing.

Drift refers to spray droplets traveling away from the intended spray target due to wind conditions and direction. Inversion happens when the air can become too still, which often happens as the sun sets and the ground cools, resulting in a stable, unmoving air mass hanging just above the ground. When herbicides are applied, the spray droplets may become suspended in this inversion until the inversion ends and wind resumes, potentially moving them off target. The best way to avoid inversion is to only spray between sunrise and sunset. The XtendiMax with VaporGrip Technology label has specific requirements not to spray during an inversion and time-of-day restrictions.

There's nothing I can do to help ensure that this technology will be available for seasons to come.

It is important that farmers voice the need for this technology to ensure dicamba is available for years to come. The best way to keep dicamba and XtendiMax with VaporGrip Technology working in your favor is to use them properly. Always read and follow the product labels, and be aware of and follow the application requirements.

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