Audio Update/Developing Story: Growers and State Officials Documenting Dicamba Damage in the Dakotas and Minnesota

The Minnesota Soybean Growers Association is assembling a task force to examine reports of dicamba injury across the state.
The group says there’s no denying farmers need options to combat the growing number of herbicide-resistant weeds. But farmers also need answers to the growing number of dicamba-suspected damage reports cropping up in the state.
MSGA President Michael Petefish of Claremont, Minn., says the association will convene a task force to examine the data and science behind the reports and to work with industry and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture to help get answers for the many growing questions regarding dicamba.
“MSGA works closely with industry in Minnesota and across the nation,” Petefish says. “We feel we are in a unique position to be proactive and lead the way in finding sensible answers for our farmers and for industry. Dicamba is a valuable tool for farmers and a technology MSGA will work to protect.”
We visited with Mike on Tuesday morning.
Petefish Dicamba Importance
Petefish says Minnesota soybean growers will work closely with the state department of agriculture and will involve researchers from the University of Minnesota, as well as industry partners.
Petefish on Problem Mitigation
He says MSGA acknowledges people want answers and want to lay blame, but he says those conversations are premature, and the data needs to be examined to get a fuller understanding of the situation and come up with appropriate solutions.
Petefish on Potential Litigation
Reports indicate that the Minnesota Department of Agriculture had recorded around 200 pesticide misuse complaints by mid-August.
Petefish on Data Collection
Minnesota growers can go online to report crop injury cases at http://www.mda.state.mn.us/chemicals/pesticides/dicamba/dicambasurvey.aspx
Meanwhile, the North Dakota Department of Agriculture has been gathering information on plant injury that may have been caused by use of the herbicide dicamba.
Growers and applicators who suspect dicamba injury are encouraged to complete a survey on NDDA’s website to help quantify the number of potential reports and acres impacted.
“We’ve had a lot of responses on the dicamba survey,” Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said. “The 2017 spraying season has wrapped up, but the information we’re gathering will help determine restrictions and protocols for the 2018 growing season.”
Dicamba is a selective herbicide used to control broadleaf weeds and woody plants. It has many applications, including lawn care, crop production and range management. Historically, it has been used in pre-plant applications on soybeans. Recently, new low-volatile formulations have been approved for postemergence use on dicamba-tolerant soybeans.
“I’ve been in talks with Monsanto, BASF and DuPont and they are willing to send representatives out to look at fields that may have been affected,” Goehring said. “Producers who would like to speak to a company representative should contact their local chemical dealers.”
Goehring is considering changing application protocols for dicamba to protect non-target crops. Producers are encouraged to provide specific feedback on the survey.
The survey may be found at www.nd.gov/ndda/dicamba-survey
Information gathered from the survey will not be used for pesticide enforcement against applicators and no penalties will be issued based on the survey. Those wishing to file a formal pesticide complaint should contact NDDA at 701-328-2231.
In South Dakota, growers can file dicamba injury reports at https://apps.sd.gov/doa/cat/dicamba.aspx