dicamba, off site

ASA Looks for Answers About Dicamba Damage

In a recent release,  the American Soybean Association (ASA) voiced its concern about the growing number of reports about dicamba damage and reiterated the association’s commitment to find a solution.

Already, there are 2,242 complaints affecting 3.1 million acres of soybeans in 21 of 30 soybean growing states and the ASA expects that number to rise.

As the ASA puts it “This is unacceptable, and we are committed to establishing both a cause and a path forward on the dicamba issue, including what actions need to be taken to assure that soybean farmers can use the product safely without damaging their own or their neighbors’ crops.”

The ASA continues to support independent research efforts underway at 14 major universities, including the University of Wisconsin, to find a path forward.

The ASA adds “We need this independent university research as well as other efforts by the national and state soybean checkoffs to determine the root causes of this widespread problem and how to address them, whether that be additional education, application restrictions, or other actions to ensure that low-volatility formulations of dicamba stay on target and don’t damage neighboring crops.”

The ASA also notes the ‘good neighbor’ aspects of the issue—beyond soybeans, other adjacent crops, including fruit trees, have been affected. As the ASA says “[We have] a duty to ensure that we are successfully coexisting with other crops, so we take these reports very seriously.”

The ASA has been working with technology providers to understand the dimensions of the issue and how to move ahead. The ASA notes that cooperation with technology producers “will be key as we try to find answers to questions regarding product performance or volatility, environmental conditions, off-label application or use of older formulations, tank mixing and clean-out, or other causes. It is very important to recognize that we do not yet have all of the data we need to clearly determine the causes of this problem, or the next steps we’ll need to take.”

At the same time, the ASA recognizes the legitimate need of soybean farmers to new technologies to help fight resistant weeds and will continue to support finding and safely using these technologies and products.

However, as the ASA notes, “That need is not blind, however, and we need to ensure that these products can be used by farmers in varied climates and growing regions safely.”

Stay tuned to badgerbean.com for further developments.