Miracle weed killer is devastating farms

In the Washington Post

EDITOR’s NOTE: One of the primary purposes of integrated pest management is to prevent pesticide resistance. Unfortunately, as Northeastern IPM Center Director Steve Young says, “the trend in industry, regulatory, policy, and even academia over the past several decades has been a focus on technology aimed at simplifying production practices,” resulting in “fewer and fewer options.” The looming controversy over dicamba use is a prime example. I’ve been reading articles in Delta and Southeast Farm Press over the past several months that show that use of the most recent release of dicamba has torn the agricultural community apart, pitting neighbor against neighbor. Some farmers have resigned themselves to switching to dicamba-resistant soybeans just to stay in business. The story below, continued in the Washington Post, highlights some of the issues that have been related in the news during the past year and emphasize the importance of a varied pest management program.

article by Caitlin Dewey, Washington Post

Clay Mayes slams on the brakes of his Chevy Silverado and jumps out with the engine running, yelling at a dogwood by the side of the dirt road as if it had said something insulting.

Its leaves curl downward and in on themselves like tiny, broken umbrellas. It’s the telltale mark of inadvertent exposure to a controversial herbicide called dicamba. Continue reading

Weed scientists says temperature inversions responsible for large acreage dicamba damage

In Delta Farm Press

by Ford Baldwin, weed scientist consultant

Continuing with excerpts from my testimony before the Arkansas Joint Agriculture, Forestry and Economic Development Committee meeting on dicamba, I will focus on what is required to get a large acreage or a landscape effect from a herbicide.

This effect occurred in the high use areas in west Tennessee, northeast Arkansas, the Mississippi Delta, and the Missouri Bootheel. It is much different than what is happening in areas or states where less dicamba is being applied. In these high use areas, about two to three weeks after the drift and volatility patterns that I described appeared, the bomb went off — both in 2016 and to a much greater extent in 2017. Continue reading

Temperature inversion and herbicide applications

The following tips were presented in a Delta Farm Press article related to the dicamba drift debate. Because some herbicide labels include instructions about not applying during a temperature inversion, I am including the tips below. You can read the entire article in Delta Farm Press.

Here are eight things about temperature inversion based on University of Missouri research you should know now. Continue reading

Protect trees when applying herbicides to weeds

by Merritt Melancon, University of Georgia

It can take years for a tree to reach full maturity, but it only takes one or two seasons of damage to irreparably harm the biggest and most expensive piece of a well-designed landscape.

Drought, insects and blight can all cause damage to mature trees. But more often than not, when a mature tree takes a turn for the worse, the culprit may be human error. Continue reading