Any herbicides containing more than a certain amount of dicamba will apparently be restricted-use products in Indiana very soon. The Indiana Pesticide Review Board voted unanimously at its September meeting to pass the rule.
Dave Scott, pesticide administrator with the Office of the Indiana State Chemist, noted earlier this year that steps were underway to take this action. The rulemaking process was long and involved legislative review. The vote by the board was the last major hurdle, notes Leo Reed, manager of licensing and certification for OISC. Some procedural matters must occur before the change making these products restricted-use pesticides actually goes into effect.
Scott explained earlier this year that one major reason for requesting the change is so OISC could track the sale and distribution of dicamba products. U.S. EPA approved the application of three new products containing dicamba over Xtend soybeans with tolerance to dicamba for the 2017 season. Resulting drift complaints that began surfacing nationwide precipitated this change in Indiana.
The number of complaints filed with OISC about dicamba incidents in Indiana alone has surpassed 100 — more than the number of drift complaints typically lodged in an entire year in Indiana. Many suggest that the number of incidents is actually much higher. Reed notes that as of early September, none of the complaints had been officially ruled upon because OISC personnel were waiting on various test results.
According to Reed, moving forward, any product containing more than 6.5% dicamba will be a restricted-use pesticide. This means older products such as Banvel will also become restricted use, along with the three new products, XtendiMax, Engenia and FeXapan. As a restricted-use product, only certified pesticide applicators holding valid licenses can purchase and apply the product.
In addition, Reed says programs offering continuing education credits for applicators so they can maintain their license will focus on dicamba in 2018. OISC and Purdue University’s Pesticide Programs office will work together to prepare these training sessions, expected to be about an hour long.