May 25 marks cutoff for use of dicamba in Arkansas crops
By the U of A System Division of Agriculture
May 24, 2019
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LITTLE ROCK – May 25 marks the last day for Arkansas growers to apply the herbicide dicamba to crops in the state, per a ruling from the Arkansas State Plant Board earlier this year.
The herbicide is primarily used to control Palmer amaranth, commonly known as pigweed, in soybeans and cotton that have been genetically modified to tolerate the chemicals. Although various formulations of dicamba have been in use for many years, its use attracted national attention when the Plant Board received more than 1,000 complaints of herbicide damage in soybeans and other crops in 2017, many of which were believed to be caused by neighboring growers’ application of off-label dicamba formulations to their own dicamba-tolerant crops.
After the Plant Board initially declared an emergency ban on all use of dicamba in June, 2017, the board later amended its ruling to institute an April 15 in-crop cutoff date. In February of this year, the board voted to extend that date to May 25, along with introducing several other caveats:
- A one-mile buffer around university research stations, certified organic crops and specialty crop producers with 1,000 plants or $25,000 in annual sales
- A ban on tank-mixing dicamba and glyphosate
- A half-mile buffer around non-dicamba-tolerant soybeans
- Training and certification requirements for dicamba applicators
- Fines for egregious violations of rules regarding the application of dicamba or auxin-containing herbicides were increased from $1,000 to $25,000 per instance
Arkansas producers were expecting to grow more than 3 million acres of soybeans and about 580,000 acres of cotton in 2019, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service.
About the Division of Agriculture
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work within the nation’s historic land grant education system.
The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs to all eligible persons without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
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Media Contact: Mary Hightower
Dir. of Communication Services
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service