The number of Missouri’s off-target crop damage reports from a weed killer called dicamba has increased from the same period last year. State Agriculture Director Chris Chinn says about 112 complaints have been made so far this year compared to 98 during the same time in 2017.
“They are mostly in the southeastern part of the state at this time,” Chinn tells Brownfield Ag News. “We do have 15 2,4-D complaints as well. Ten of those are coming from that Bootheel area as well.”
Chinn says the complaints involve 17,000 acres of soybeans, 500 acres of peaches and residential trees, 75 acres of watermelon and some residential and commercial gardens.
Southeast Missouri also received the most dicamba complaints in 2017 and 2016.
Last year, a bill was signed into law in Missouri that increases the penalties for illegal use of herbicides. It authorizes the Missouri Department of Agriculture to issue a $10,000 penalty per violation. Chronic violators can also be fined up to $25,000 per violation. Fines go to the school district in which the violation occurred.
Chinn points out that the cutoff date for dicamba use was June 10th in southeast Missouri and July 15th for the rest of the state.
“Because of those cutoff dates, we do feel like we will have a more successful 2018,” Chinn says, “but we also want to remind producers in the rest of the state that that 24-C label still applies.”
The label says dicamba can be used only until soybeans reach the R-ONE growth stage, which, in many cases, has already happened.
By Tom Steever of Brownfield Ag News