What is Dicamba?
Dicamba is a herbicide that selectively kills broad-leafed weeds, as opposed to plants in the grass family. It is not a new herbicide; it’s been around for decades, though it’s historically been used mostly as a pre-emergent (applied to the soil prior to planting to kill weeds). Dicamba is very effective in ridding farmers crop fields of the yield robbing weeds that have become resistant to glyphosate.
Recently, genetically-modified dicamba-resistant seeds—both cotton and soybean— hit the market as a tool for farmers to battle these otherwise herbicide tolerant weeds. For the first year, those seeds came with a caveat, however, farmers weren’t legally allowed to spray dicamba on their fields. That’s because dicamba is highly volatile, it’s easily airborne and susceptible to drift. Very recently, Dicamba has been approved in many states and many farmers welcomed the new weapon in their war on weeds.
What problems can this cause?
If Dicamba lands on a field that isn’t planted with dicamba-resistant crops, the impact can be devastating. Non-resistant soybeans that come into contact with dicamba suffer from puckered leaves, buckled pods, and stunted growth. It seems everywhere you turn in the agricultural industry, dicamba is the topic. As 2017 progresses, farmers will inevitably know more about the effects of dicamba, both positive and negative. It is generally accepted that farmers need additional tools to continue to feed the growing population, what is not known is where Dicamba will fit in to the equation.
Jeremy Wolf, a farmer writes about his real life Dicamba experience in a recent issue of Prairie Farmer as well as on his twitter feed he has chronicled his entire journey. You can read about his experience here: Prairie Farmer Article
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