State Says Education Is The Best Defense From Dicamba Runoff

13 Feb State Says Education Is The Best Defense From Dicamba Runoff

Sprayer sits in a soybean field

Photo: Dwight Burdette (Wikimedia Commons)

Farmers are forced to undergo training on how to operate sprayers like these that fertilize fields using Dicamba.

Indiana’s State Chemist Office has been busy ahead of the 2018 planting season preparing farmers to use the powerful herbicide dicamba.

The EPA approved a new type of dicamba in 2016 for use on cotton and soybeans.  Following the approval, many states saw hundreds of runoff exposures, which meant exposed crops would perish, because dicamba kills crops not genetically engineered to tolerate it.

As a result, the Office of Indiana’s State Chemist—which is the government agency tasked with overseeing herbicides—is investigating more than 130 cases where Dicamba runoff has killed otherwise healthy soy beans.

In response, the office has begun implementing training sessions for farmers who use dicamba.

David Scott is the pesticide administrator with the Office of Indiana’s State Chemist. He says while he understands some farmers are frustrated about a mandatory training he believes it has many benefits.

“We’re very hopeful. We’ve never done anything like this before,” Scott says. “We’ve never focused so much attention and so much effort on a product – one product before.”

The mandated training is part of additional regulations from the federal government.  Other restrictions include new record keeping and limiting how and when the herbicide is applied to fields.

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