dicamba drift
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    Member MrMoe's Avatar
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    dicamba drift

    Howdy all, I am wondering if anyone on the fourm has had any suspicions about herbicide damage from neighboring AG operations? For the past 3 years Our early garden has looked good until the neighbors plant their corn or soy beans (and spray) After that every thing fails to thrive and our potato's have failed all together. This year the neighbors sprayed much earlier and planted wheat. So far our early garden is thriving. I have read some about Dicamba drift and am suspicious. Is anyone else having similar problems?

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    Senior Member Seabee's Avatar
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    I am not, but it is real. Monsanto bred a soybean that is resistant to Dicamba so farmers could go after some of the more problematic weeds and kill them, much as they bred the Roundup resistant soybeans. That way the soybeans can stand more modes of action from the herbicide, while the weeds stand a better chance of dying because the herbicide has more modes of action.

    One of the biggest issues with Dicamba is its ability to drift, or even if it hits the target, its ability to pick up in a weather inversion and travel several miles only to result in damage to a neighbor a few miles away. Dicamba has always been that way, but was usually used on corn early enough that it didn't matter to for instance, soybeans. After supposedly safening the Dicamba for use in soybeans, it was released for use in both crops.

    Now unless your soybeans have been bred to be resistant to Dicamba, they could still die. So Monsanto earns money on the new soybean patent because some people will plant resistant soybeans just to keep their neighbor from damaging them. That means I may not want the new soybean because the older one did the job it needed to do for less money, or some markets don't want the new bean or even the Roundup ready bean. Maybe even an organic market. But because of the ability to travel on the winds, or to pick up and travel on the weather inversion a few days later, the guy going for the organic market loses his crop.

    Big time lawsuits going on over this right now. I think some states have finally outlawed the chemical if I remember correctly. The idea of more modes of action was good in order to fight some of the more problematic weeds. But it required a different soybean to resist the Dicamba, so they bred a new soybean, and supposedly made the Dicamba safer. And it is safer if you bought the new soybean.

    But if you didn't buy the new soybean variety, or if you have trees, or Grapes that will die, or any other susceptible crop, you are SOOL! There have been millions of acres damaged over the last few years since it was released. It has gotten to the point if a farmer is going to spray Dicamba he has to take training in order to buy it. But that is a bit like the horse is already gone.

    We raise lots of grapes on the west side of Michigan for Welches and several wineries, and lots of fruit crops in general. Lake Michigan gives us the right climate for those types of crops and you had better not be spraying something like Dicamba in the area. Because of it's ability to travel even a few days after application it can be difficult to know which neighbor actually did you damage.

    Bill

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    Member MrMoe's Avatar
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    Thanks Bill, I was not aware that the possibility of drift could last for days. That may be bad news for us as we are very near huge crop operations. I am trying to think of a way to gather data on our situation. Not that we want to sue or resent our neighbors (I do resent big corporations that seem to dictate the way farming is done).
    Maurice

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    Senior Member Seabee's Avatar
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    Technically, it only drifts as it is applied, and then it is over. The problem is volitalization and its ability to travel. That happens as a weather inversion. If there is volitalization and you have a wind current it then will travel. If you have damage, it will usually occur as cupped leaves, and any new growth will usually have normal leaves. I am an Agronomist (Crop Consultant) and Agriculture is my thing. I am still trying to figure out how to retire!

    Bill

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    Senior Member dave1mn2's Avatar
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    Bill, do you have a recc for non Roundup herbicide?

    I'd love to get away from it and tried spraying a mixture of salt and vinegar but the results were just so, so.

    Also beyond drift, I've found that no matter how well you rinse a sprayer, once its had Roundup in it, its risky to use it for anything else, so I have a sprayer dedicated for weed control only.

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    Senior Member Seabee's Avatar
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    Dave, what are trying to control?

    On rinsing your equipment: Ammonia will pretty much inactivate most common crop chemicals. Rinse 3 times then fill with strong Ammonia water. If spraying with a backpack run the rinse water through the pump and hoses, then when going to the Ammonia water be sure to do the same thing so everything has been cleared out. Then finally rinse, then flush again with water. I just gave you overkill. In small quantities a little bit of RU goes a long ways. In a field of soybeans a little bit of RU in a large quantity of water doesn't matter so much as a residue.

    Bill

    I also have a separate backpack sprayer for spraying RU. Sometimes I even heat the mixture up for brush by including 2,4,D with the round up.
    Last edited by Seabee; 05-22-2020 at 03:59 PM.

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    Senior Member dave1mn2's Avatar
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    "Dave, what are trying to control?"

    Assorted stuff, most of which I have no idea of the name. Crab grass,
    dandelion etc. Stuff that grows in gravel drives and the cracks of paved drives.

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    Senior Member CobyDog$10's Avatar
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    I'm surrounded by farm fields. Corn and soy beans usually with wheat and hay occasionally. I wonder if this is what browns the pine trees by the field sometimes.

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    Senior Member Seabee's Avatar
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    Dave, I hate to say this but your dandelions could easily be smoked with 2,4D or "Dicamba". really any broadleaf weed killer would do the job on them. Round up just makes it all so easy! One herbicide just gives control of most weeds. I was just out of College running a fertilizer plant when the Monsanto rep encouraged us to use this new "Round Up" product in place of some of the other chemistry to kill Quackgrass, Johnson Grass, Canadian Thistles. We had chemistries to control each of those weed already, but it was a real job and you certainly had to have other products to go with them. Those other products kept you from rotating crops like Corn to soybeans, or Corn to wheat. They weren't terribly expensive. Monsanto wanted about $70/ gallon of product (Unheard of at that time) and they wanted you to use 2 quarts per acre ($35 / acre). The normal products would cost about $15/acre.

    But 2 quarts would kill those problem weeds and you could plant any crop you wanted to after the treatment. So performance, ability to plant whatever you wanted to in your rotation, sure made it easy to plant as you wished. At that time you still needed to use other chemistry to control your weeds in addition to the Roundup. That was in 1975-1976 time frame. About 1985 give or take, Monsanto was having field days showing off some new soybeans they were looking at that had resistance to the RoundUp and you could spray the beans and they would still live. And to make everything better you could do most of everything with just 1 quart/acre on your soybeans. It was several years later that they developed Corn to do the same thing.

    The beans were Non-GMO soybeans that had been selected through normal breeding. The Corn they developed was by genetic modification (GMO). The use of roundup made it so easy to only use one product for weed control on both corn and soybeans, and the price was lowered after the patent expired. It got to the point that the other companies were retiring the older chemistries and not developing new products to counter the RoundUp material. The world belonged to Monsanto. They owned the Chemistry, and the Patented seed to grow the crop. And then the over use caused some weed species to become resistant to RoundUp. It wouldn't kill some of those weeds anymore.

    That is what has lead to the Dicamba issue. Monsanto bred their soybean lines to withstand the Dicamba Chemistry, then blended Dicamba with the RoundUp and other Chemistries, but didn't think about the lack of adoption of their new breeding. And that is why there are millions of acres of Damaged Soybeans. You don't dare to get Dicamba near cotton. Or most garden type crops and we grow plenty of those in Michigan , also.

    It is a wonderful chemistry but has been way overused. We had No Till farming before Roundup, but when you could No Till with Roundup and not damage your crop, and get excellent weed control. Why would you use anything else? Until it started not working anymore! So now we have Dicamba to mix in to get control again!

    I love to be able to spray weeds in my driveway, around my trees and bushes with RoundUp because it is so easy compared to most others. Prowl works well on crabgrass in your lawn (Preen)in the spring, I am told. I am not a lawn care specialist. Without killing your grass (really?) 2,4,D works well on the broadleaf weeds such as dandelion, buckhorn, plantain, and others. This usually works better if you spray in the fall. Spring works just better in the fall. These treatments leave most of the grasses if applied at suggested rates. For the suggested rates measure your lawn, read the label, apply at those rates.

    If you read this far you probably understand why there some issues with Dicamba and therefore "Lawsuits".

    Bill

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    Quote Originally Posted by CobyDog$10 View Post
    I'm surrounded by farm fields. Corn and soy beans usually with wheat and hay occasionally. I wonder if this is what browns the pine trees by the field sometimes.
    I have never seen pine trees here burned by herbicide, But salt spray from the roads in winter will wreck 'em pretty good.

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