‘Preparing for the Xtend Trait’

Kevin Bradley, University of Missouri Extension weed scientist, spent a good portion of 2016 traveling across Missouri to discuss the dangers of dicamba drift with landowners.

Dicamba is a common herbicide but unlabeled and illegal dicamba formulations were used last year on dicamba-tolerant soybeans, creating a dangerous drift that damaged thousands acres of crops across the state.

Bradley, who is also an associate professor in the Division of Plant Sciences, has spent the early part of 2017 doing similar presentations – and will be part of a handful of training sessions in February and March.

Kevin Bradley has been presenting on the dangers of dicamba drift throughout Missouri. Photo by Logan Jackson.
Kevin Bradley has been presenting on the dangers of dicamba drift throughout Missouri. Photo by Logan Jackson.

One of those sessions will take place Monday, Feb. 27 at the Fisher Delta Research Center in Portageville, Mo. The program, “Preparing for the Xtend Trait in 2017: Lessons Learned and Where We Go From Here,” will begin at 1 p.m. It is free and open to the public.

“We really want to focus on what happened last year,” Bradley said. “There were several issues that landowners faced and we want to talk about how we can avoid those issues in 2017.”

Soybean varieties within Monsanto’s Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System were approved by federal regulators in 2016. Those varieties tolerate dicamba and glyphosate – but no dicamba formulations were approved to match the varieties. Many of the complaints focus on dicamba formulations that were used on Xtend soybeans that were not labeled for that use. Those formulations moved offsite and injured numerous other crops.

“It was something that we’ve never seen before to that magnitude,” Bradley said.

While a good portion of the damage was done in the Bootheel region, Bradley said that issues happened across Missouri and its border states. It affected a variety of crops, too.

The training sessions will review what happened in 2016 and how landowners can learn from that situation. The training will then turn the corner to discuss the do’s and don’ts of the Xtend trait and specific instructions on how to use it correctly.

Bradley will also explain all of the label requirements during the training session. Individuals are encouraged to bring any questions to the program.

“The rules and regulations are listed on the label, and we really want to highlight each of them,” Bradley said. “For example, only one nozzle can be used and there are wind speed requirements when dicamba is sprayed. It’s really important that landowners pay attention to these specific regulations or we’ll run into the same problems as we did in 2016.”

For more information about the program, contact Bradley at (573) 882-4039 or BradleyKe@missouri.edu. The Fisher Delta Research Center is located at 147 State Highway T in Portageville. For more information about Fisher Delta, visit delta.cafnr.org.