Grower Alert: Be Trait Responsible and Follow the Label if Planting Dicamba-Tolerant Soybeans in Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Soybean Association (WSA) is advising WI farmers to be trait responsible and good stewards if planting dicamba-tolerant soybeans in WI in 2016. Please read and follow the label.

Dicamaba-tolerant soybean varieties are available in limited supply to WI farmers for the upcoming 2016 growing season. However, no dicamba herbicide product is currently labeled for application on soybeans.

Applying dicamba to dicamba-tolerant soybeans at this time without U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approval is illegal.

Monsanto representatives have stated the weed control program for dicamba-tolerant soybeans during 2016 should be identical to that as other Roundup Ready II soybeans.

Currently, the EPA is requesting public comment on a draft label for M1691, a specific dicamba formulation of a Monsanto herbicide product. This 30-day public comment period was initiated on April 1 but may be extended.

Monsanto representatives estimate the label will be accepted and released by the EPA sometime in the fall of 2016, far too late to utilize this form of dicamba for weed control in this growing season. Also, this draft label only applies to M1691, but no other form of dicamba that farmers may already have in their possession.

“The WSA recognizes that many new elite cultivar releases from multiple companies may possess this trait so growers wishing to push yields may want to plant the cultivars.” Dr. Shawn Conley, the UW State Soybean Specialist, urges growers to remember the label is the law and follow all labels in accordance with this crop.”

Dr. Conley cautions that blatant disregard for following the label will have “dire consequences for subsequent trait or chemistry approvals. The launch of this technology will be heavily watched and scrutinized so don’t make off label applications as we as an industry run the risk of this technology never being fully approved.”

In addition to the lack of a dicamba herbicide label, the European Union has not authorized import of the dicamba-tolerant soybeans to the market. With this fact also in place Dr. Conley instructs growers that they should talk to their elevator before planting to make sure they will accept these beans.

Know BEFORE YOU PLANT or just don’t plant them, advises Dr. Conley.