The Tennessee Department of Agriculture is proposing new rules and requirements for use of herbicides containing dicamba in the commercial production of cotton and soybeans.
TDA is seeking approval from the Environmental Protection Agency for a Special Local Needs [24(c)] label to further restrict use of new formulation products in Tennessee including BASF’s Engenia, Monsanto’s XtendiMax and Dupont’s FeXapan.
The EPA now classifies these products as restricted use pesticides for sale to and use by only certified applicators. RUP certification training is provided by University of Tennessee Extension. RUP certification must be presented to the retail establishment, pesticide dealer or distributor from which the product is obtained.
Upon approval, the 24(c) will require:
- Certified applicators to complete mandatory dicamba-specific training through UT Extension or an approved product manufacturer.
- Application only between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. in the respective time zone of location.
- A hooded sprayer for any application from July 15 until Oct. 1
- The 24(c) label is in addition to all other EPA-approved label requirements.
“Pesticides are vital tools in growing a safe and abundant food supply,” Commissioner of Agriculture Jai Templeton said. “When used responsibly and in accordance with all label requirements, dicamba products are critical to eliminating weeds that are resistant to all other herbicides.”
TDA is also pursuing rules to prohibit application of older, generic formulations from May 15 through Oct. 1.
EPA has taken further steps to regulate use of dicamba products, including additional record keeping requirements and sensitive crop registries to increase applicators’ awareness of risk to especially sensitive crops nearby. TDA will work with UT Extension to develop a registry process to assist farmers who plan to use dicamba in identifying specialty crop producers in their immediate area.
Furthermore, TDA will monitor use and conduct spot checks to ensure applicators’ compliance with label requirements, training, and record keeping. If an applicator is found in violation, penalties will be assessed and may include fines and/or revocation of the license to apply restricted use pesticides.
“We understand the importance of protecting this technology, while safeguarding the best interests of agriculture and the environment in Tennessee,” Commissioner Templeton added.
TDA is working with UT and herbicide manufacturers to establish training opportunities on-line and in person at county Extension offices and at regional grain conferences. Extension training will be available by Jan. 15.
This proposal is based in part on recommendations from a working group composed primarily of producers, along with representatives from statewide agricultural organizations and UT Extension. TDA also considered the actions of other states, guidance from EPA, and input from agribusinesses.