Indiana State Chemist and Seed Commissioner Dr. Bob Waltz has requested from EPA that the Indiana dicamba label state that use after June 20, 2020 is restricted.
Speaking to Hoosier Ag Today, Waltz said that the restriction was actually recommended last year by the Indiana Pesticide Review Board and weed scientists at Purdue and across the country. He opted to wait until after changes to the federal label were made.
However, the number of dicamba complaints increased again this year.
“Hopefully, we’ll see a reduction in the numbers of complaints that result from that, and yet the farmers will still receive the opportunity to use a good product.”
As those complaints increase, Waltz says, “This is a situation that has cost us a great deal in terms of our staff resources. In terms of investigations, laboratory work, fiscal impacts, all of those things are very real. So, if we can reduce those numbers significantly, I believe we are able to go ahead and improve our operations and actually focus on the broader scope of pesticide issues that we’re charged with under the law so that we’re actually able to serve the people of this state in a broader, more meaningful way.”
Many farmers couldn’t get into the field to plant beans until the middle of June in 2019. I asked Waltz what happens if next year is similar to this one. He says the date could be changed in that type of situation.
“Fortunately, this is a system that is authorized under EPA and so there can be adjustments made.”
He cautioned though that more research needs to be done on that option. Illinois extended their restriction date this past year and had a record number of dicamba complaints.
I also asked Waltz how well this can be policed.
“99.9% of our folks, I think, want to go out there and raise a good crop, do it well, do it legally, and want to do the right thing. So, if you falsify a document like that, sometimes there are ways you can find out because of records, and purchases, and applications. All the paperwork is going to line up and sometimes it becomes real obvious.”