2022 Herbicide Update

Chad Guthrie. Kansas State University Southwind District Extension Agent, Crop production and Forage Management. His email is [email protected]
Submitted photo.

2022 could prove to be an interesting year for producers in Southeast Kansas. Ultra-high fertilizer prices and herbicide shortages, paired with high commodity prices already have producers scratching their heads on what to plant this year.

Now, the EPA is beginning to unveil label changes for many commonly used herbicides, throwing yet another wrench in farmers’ plans.

The herbicide that has been most effected by these new EPA restrictions is the Enlist herbicide technology. This includes Enlist One, and Enlist Duo. The registration for Enlist herbicides was set to expire on January 12, 2022, and the EPA renewed its registration on Jan 11, 2022. The renewal will be in place for 7 years. The EPA added several new restrictions, a few being: the prohibition of spraying within 48 hours of an irrigation or a predicted rainfall event, new mitigation measures for runoff management, and most notably, the prohibition of Enlist One in 169 counties, and Enlist Duo in 217 counties nationwide.

Many of these new restrictions were made to comply with the Endangered Species Act. Ten Kansas counties appeared on both Enlist One’s and Enlist Duo’s list of prohibited counties, two of which belong to the Southwind District. The ten counties are Chautauqua, Cherokee, Cowley, Elk, Greenwood, Labette, Montgomery, Neosho, Wilson, and Woodson. These counties were all identified to having a high risk of harming species listed in the Endangered Species Act.

In the EPA’s Memorandum supporting the new restrictions, they claim it will only effect 1% of corn acres, 4% of cotton acres, and a “negligible” percent of soybean acres nationwide. While the number of total acres affected may not worry the EPA on a national scale, producers in Southeast Kansas are faced with a serious dilemma.

It is getting harder and harder to find a good herbicide program for soybean acres in southeast Kansas. Many producers are not able to make their post-emergence applications of dicamba before the dicamba cutoff date of Jun 30, especially on double cropped acres. Adding in limited availability of the glufosonate herbicide, and skyrocketing glyphosate prices, farmers were looking forward to having Enlist as an option for weed control this growing season.

The EPA also unveiled additional safety measures for herbicides containing paraquat. These additions are focused around human contact with the herbicide. A couple additions are updated PPE, the prohibition of spraying from a pressurized hand tank or backpack sprayer, the requirement of having an enclosed and ventilated tractor cab, and some addition buffer requirements. Paraquat is a restricted use chemical that requires an applicators license, and an up-to-date paraquat training. Training must be done online at http://usparaquattraining.com and must be renewed every 3 years.

Another herbicide that requires trainings in addition to an applicators license is dicamba. Kansas producers must complete an approved dicamba training course each year to legally be allowed to spray the chemical. Approved trainings are hosted online, or in person by BASF, Bayer, and Syngenta throughout the state. For help finding an approved training course, you can contact your local extension office.

While this year may prove to be a challenging year for producers in SE Kansas, K State Research and Extension continues to offer research-backed information to help you make management decisions. To stay up-to-date on herbicide regulations and requirements, contact your local extension office and ask for Chad.

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