ROCKVILLE, Md. (DTN) -- Just in time for the spray season, Arkansas regulators approved a new rule permitting in-crop use of dicamba through June 30. The other two states that have state-specific dicamba cutoffs, Indiana and Illinois, are staying with their June 20 cutoff.
Arkansas' new cutoff is a significant change from the past few years, when the Arkansas State Plant Board had the country's most restrictive dicamba regulations, in response to widespread off-target damage complaints in the 2017 season. For the past two years, the state has had a May 25 cutoff for use of over-the-top dicamba herbicides XtendiMax, Engenia and Tavium.
But last night, after a virtual public hearing, the plant board voted 9-to-5 to approve a new set of regulations, which permit applications of those herbicides through June 30 for cotton and soybeans.
While the state's new rule is closer to the EPA's federal dicamba labels released last fall, Arkansas growers will also face the following state-specific rules:
-- No spraying beyond June 30 (as opposed to an extended spray date of July 30 for cotton on the federal label).
-- No spraying within 1 mile of university research centers.
-- No spraying within a half-mile of organic or specialty crops.
-- No spraying within a quarter-mile of non-dicamba-tolerant cotton or soybeans.
-- No tank mixing the dicamba herbicides with glyphosate.
-- No use of older, more volatile dicamba formulations in crops between April 16 and Oct. 31.
The rule now heads to the Arkansas legislature for finalization and then onto the governor for approval.
INDIANA AND ILLINOIS
Two other states, Indiana and Illinois, will also have dicamba cutoffs in 2021 that are more restrictive than the federal label. Last year, EPA announced states could no longer use Section 24(c) labels to further restrict the federal label, so those state regulators worked through different legal paths.
On March 2, the Indiana Pesticide Review Board (IPRB) voted unanimously to categorize all dicamba herbicides containing more than 6.5% dicamba as highly volatile herbicides. This will allow the state to establish a statewide permit for their use, which will ban spraying them after June 20. See a question and answer on these new rules from the Office of Indiana State Chemist here: https://www.oisc.purdue.edu/….
In Illinois, the state's Department of Agriculture established an emergency administrative rule in February that will ban applications of XtendiMax, Engenia and Tavium after June 20. The rule also prohibits spraying dicamba when the temperature rises above 85 degrees Fahrenheit. See more on those restrictions here: https://www2.illinois.gov/….
NO DICAMBA USE BEYOND THE FEDERAL LABEL
Several states, including North Carolina, Oklahoma and Texas, attempted to expand the federal dicamba labels in 2021. They submitted Section 24(c) labels with extended spray cutoffs to EPA to accommodate double-planted soybeans and late-planted cotton acres.
However, so far, EPA has rebuffed those moves, arguing that permitting more expanded use of dicamba would be unsafe and open the agency up to legal liability. See more from DTN here: https://www.dtnpf.com/….
Remember that the federal labels released in October 2020 do differ in key ways from the 2018 labels. See a DTN breakdown of that here: https://www.dtnpf.com/….
Emily Unglesbee can be reached at Emily.firstname.lastname@example.org
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