As Drift Complaints Snowball, Tennessee Sets New Dicamba Rules

Tennessee is the latest state to issue restrictions on dicamba, following snowballing complaints about the herbicide drifting onto neighboring farms not using the Monsanto Xtend cropping system for soybeans or cotton.The Tennessee Department of Agriculture said it is taking measures to mitigate the risk of drift of herbicides containing dicamba, and issued the following statement on Wed., July 12:

In accordance with new rules filed with the Secretary of State:

Anyone applying dicamba products must be certified as a private applicator or licensed as a pest control operator in the category of Agricultural Pest Control (AGE), and is required to keep records for such applications.

The use of older formulations of dicamba products for the remainder of this agricultural growing season is prohibited.

To minimize the potential for off-target movement of the product due to temperature inversion, dicamba may only be applied from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the respective time zone for the location of application.

Applying dicamba over the top of cotton after first bloom is prohibited.

This action is in response to primarily farmer to farmer complaints currently under investigation by TDA of suspected dicamba related damage on cropland. These measures are based on the recommendations of UT Extension and only apply to dicamba products purchased and used for agricultural purposes. A list of dicamba products approved in Tennessee for sale or use under new rules established July 12, 2017 are available here.

State and federal laws mandate applicators strictly follow label directions and consider the weather and potential for temperature inversions when applying any herbicide. Any suspected misapplication should be reported immediately to TDA at 800-628-2631 or 615-837-5148. The department will take appropriate enforcement action for any misapplication, including but not limited to suspension or revocation of a certificate and state penalties up to $1,500 per violation, in addition to federal penalties and possible criminal prosecution.

Emergency Rules filed by TDA and effective July 11, 2017 through October 1, 2017 are available here. A finalized version will be posted by the Tennessee Secretary of State’s Office within three to four days of filing at http://tnsos.org/rules/EmergencyRules.php.

Read Monsanto’s response to the action in Tennessee.

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