Dicamba: What You Need to Know for 2021

May 07, 2021

Planning to use dicamba products this year in your Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans? Here’s what you need to know about the dicamba label changes for a successful growing season.

The following formulations are the only approved dicamba products for use on dicamba-tolerant (DT) crops:
  • XtendiMax® Herbicide with VaporGrip® Technology (Bayer) (Xtendimax is the featured product from Agtegra Cooperative)
  • Engenia® Herbicide (BASF)
  • Syngenta® Tavium® Herbicide Plus VaporGrip Technology
XtendiMax & Engenia
A majority of last year’s label changes applied to XtendiMax and Engenia, whose new EPA registrations and new labels now stretch for five years instead of two. Additionally, the products can now only be applied to DT crops, and the overall label for each has been simplified.

Application of XtendiMax and Engenia must be completed by June 30 under the new label. Moreover, applications after the R1 stage are prohibited entirely. Growers must abide by whichever limitation comes first. Adding a drift reduction agent (DRA) to the product continues to be required for XtendiMax; the recommendation to utilize DRA continues to be promoted for Engenia and is mandated with certain Engenia tank mixes.

The label also outlines runoff restrictions; producers should not apply dicamba products under conditions which favor runoff, in areas where soil is saturated with water or when forecasted rainfall may exceed soil field capacity within 48 hours of application. This has been extended from the previous 24-hour notation.

Only K-salt glyphosates (IE: PowerMax) are approved with Engenia, XtendiMax or other “over-the-top” (OTT) tank mixtures under the 2021 label.  Previous labels allowed various glyphosate salts, including K-salt glyphosates and other salts, such as IPA salt products.

Volatility Reduction Agents (VRAs) also became mandatory for all dicamba OTT uses with the new label. This is a new additive for the program. These agents work as a buffer to prevent the pH from lowering.  With several brands of VRA agents available, each works in a similar manner. Agtegra will be handling the Suralta VRA brand in 2021.

Tavium Remains an Option to the Mix
Syngenta’s Tavium, containing dicamba and S-metolachlor, was not a part of the vacated labels ruling last year for XtendiMax and Engenia. However, the product follows the other two in not reaching expiration until 2025 and is subject to the current label restrictions, DRA and VRA requirements, K-salt glyphosate limitations, expanded buffer zones and endangered species restrictions.

Buffer Zones Expanded and Endangered Species Restrictions Come to South and North Dakota
A significant change to the new labels for use of dicamba in-crop deals with mandated expanded buffers and the inclusion of some further increased buffer requirements in counties determined to potentially harbor endangered species.  The following label highlights apply to all three products discussed.

In areas without endangered species, producers must now leave a 240-foot downwind buffer to sensitive areas. This increases the previous label regulation from 110 feet. The buffer zone may be applied in-field of the dicamba-tolerant crop, or the following non-sensitive crops and areas may be included in this buffer zone if immediately adjacent downwind to the field:
  • Roads, paved or gravel areas adjacent to field
  • Mowed grassy areas adjacent to field (this does include road ditches)
  • Agricultural fields prepped for planting
  • Areas of bare ground from recent plowing or grading that are contiguous with the treated field
  • Planted agricultural fields containing asparagus, corn, DT cotton, DT soybeans, sorghum, proso millet, small grains, sugarcane and other crops approved for post emergence dicamba use
  • Areas covered by footprint of building, shade house, silo, feed crib or other man-made structure with walls and/or roof.
For counties with endangered species, an expanded 310-foot downwind buffer must be maintained downwind for these sensitive areas. All other sides of this field will also need a 57-foot omnidirectional buffer. Due to protection of the federally listed threatened and endangered species, the following counties in the Agtegra service territory must follow this endangered species downwind buffer regulation.
South Dakota: Brown, Marshall, Day, Roberts, Clark, Codington, Hamlin, Deuel, Brookings
North Dakota: Sargent, Richland, Stutzman
In addition to the expanded 310-foot buffer zones requirement, the makeup of the non-sensitive areas directly adjacent to the treated field edges is much more limited in these endangered species counties. These buffer possibilities include and are limited to:
  • Roads, paved or gravel surfaces, mowed grassy areas adjacent to field and areas of bare ground contiguous with the treated field.
  • Planted agricultural fields containing dicamba-resistant soybeans (other dicamba-tolerant crops (IE: corn and sorghum) are NOT included on this listing - at least for the 2021 cropping season)
  • Areas covered by the footprint of a building, silo or other manmade structure with walls and/or roof
  • If the downwind buffer cannot be calculated in areas immediately adjacent to a field, the buffer must be left entirely within the field boundary
Other Important Notes on Dicamba
  1. Each of the over the top in-crop dicamba products does mandate a specific set of spray nozzles and allowable nozzle pressures for application; each product also mandates specific allowable tank mixes. Specifics for each can be found on the application websites for each product:
    1. http://www.XtendimaxApplicationRequirements.com
    2. http://www.engeniatankmix.com
    3. https://www.syngenta-us.com/herbicides/tavium-application-stewardship
  2. All of the approved over the top dicamba formulations are classified as Federal Restricted Use Pesticides. Growers must be a certified private applicator or commercial applicator to purchase and/or apply these products. Refer to your local Department of Agriculture website or Cooperative Extension Service office if in need of applicator certification or commercial licensing.
  3. A drift reduction agent (DRA) remains mandatory in most dicamba over the top tank mixes.  Growers must also only use non-AMS water conditioners in the tank mixes.  Agtegra carries a new proprietary spray additive called CAS Elite Dicamba Combo, which contains both a non-AMS water conditioner and the mandated drift reduction technology in one convenient product.
  4. There are additional requirements that continue to be on the current product labels, including boom height above the crop canopy (≤24” above the surface being sprayed), sprayer speed (≤15 mph), time of day for application (one hour after sunrise to two hours before sunset), wind speed (must be between 3 and 10 mph), restrictions for not spraying during inversion conditions that must also be followed, and specific mandatory recordkeeping. These restrictions are printed in the product label and outlined on the product application websites.
  5. The EPA continues to mandate ANNUAL dicamba stewardship training for applicators wishing to apply dicamba herbicides OTT in dicamba-tolerant soybeans. This is dicamba-specific training and is not part of the general pesticide training at the private or commercial applicator level. Training is still available online as self-paced modules at the following websites.  Completing ANY of the following online dicamba training modules qualifies a grower to apply ALL three of the OTT dicamba products for 2021:
    1. https://www.roundupreadyxtend.com/stewardship/Pages/default.aspx
    2. https://www.engeniaherbicide.com/stewardship.html
    3. https://syngentaus.docebosaas.com/dicamba/learn
Growers must read, understand and follow all components of the pesticide label, including the online portions of the federal dicamba labels. Following the label is the responsibility of the applicator.
Understanding dicamba is no simple task. Contact your local Agtegra Agronomist with any questions you have about this year’s label changes when making your growing season decisions. We are here to help you plan a successful weed management strategy while working with the mandated changes to the federal dicamba herbicide labels for in-crop application.

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On February 6, 2024, a ruling by the U.S. District Court of Arizona vacated the 2020 registrations for OTT dicamba products XtendiMax, Engenia, and Tavium. On February 14, the EPA issued an order with the requirements for XtendiMax, Engenia, and Tavium. We want to assure customers that have contracted gallons that we have an adequate supply of dicamba products to fulfill contracted gallons this spring.