Industrial agricultural sprayer in the fields

The Environmental Protection Agency’s recent release of new dicamba labels should help growers make informed decisions about soybean traits and herbicide options for the 2021 growing season.

Three dicamba products (XtendiMax, Engenia and Tavium) now have a five-year federal label for over-the-top use in Xtend soybeans.

Extension agronomists John Wallace and Dwight Lingenfelter explain the new labels have additional requirements and restrictions beyond the previous labels.

Among the noteworthy changes, dicamba applications are not allowed after June 30. XtendiMax and Tavium also restrict applications based on soybean growth stage, which serves as the cutoff date if it occurs before June 30.

Growth stage cutoffs are R1 for XtendiMax and V4 for Tavium. Tavium is a premixed product that contains dicamba and s-metolachlor.

Dicamba applications must include a 240-foot downwind buffer for non-sensitive areas. Downwind buffers can be reduced to a 110-foot buffer if a qualified hooded sprayer is used.

Dicamba applications will require pH-buffering agents to reduce volatility potential. XtendiMax and Tavium require use of a qualified pH buffering adjuvant or volatility-reducing agent and a drift-reduction agent in every application. Engenia only requires use of a pH-buffering adjuvant.

An applicator will need to visit each company’s support websites to identify the pH-buffering, volatility-reducing, and drift-reduction products that are permitted.

With herbicide and soybean trait registration issues resolved for at least the 2021 growing season, we now have a clearer picture of post-emergence herbicides labeled for use in alternative soybean seed trait systems.

Remember that dicamba and 2,4-D are not interchangeable, which means dicamba will kill Enlist soybeans and 2,4-D will kill Xtend soybeans if applied over the top.

It is also worth noting that when using these soybean trait systems, we recommend using dicamba and 2,4-D to improve pre-plant burndown herbicide programs but limiting post-emergence use to reduce the potential for off-target movement and selection pressure for resistance.

We will continue to provide updates on the status of these herbicide labels if circumstances change and will provide recommendations for their stewardship in Pennsylvania field crops in the lead-up to next growing season.

Now is the Time to Be Aware of the Extension of the Certified Crop Adviser CEU Cycle

The international Certified Crop Adviser board of directors recently announced a change related to the pandemic.

Certified crop advisers ending their continuing education unit cycle on Dec. 31 and who are short on CEUs may request a 12-month, one-time extension that will permanently change their CEU cycle ending date going forward.

Extension agronomist Heidi Reed explains the process will go as follows. All CCAs who are short CEUs will be emailed on Nov. 25 alerting them to their shortage. This email will include opportunities to earn CEUs but will also include the time extension request as an option.

CCAs who seek the extension will be asked to provide a brief description, through email, of how the pandemic affected them and prevented them from earning enough CEUs by the end of the year.

The request will be received at the ICCA office and then be sent to the local board administrator. The administrator will contact the applicant to encourage completion of the current credit cycle and suggest potential CEU opportunities.

If the CCA still wants to receive the extension, the local board will then decide to grant or deny it and notify the ICCA office of its decision.

The request will be sent to the CCA’s local board via the local board administrator for review and approval or denial.

If denied, the local board must provide an explanation to the applicant. The ICCA office will monitor all requests.

If approved, the adviser’s CEU cycle will be extended by one year, and the adviser continues with a new cycle ending date of Dec. 31, 2021.

Questions regarding the extension may be directed to Penny Magana, certification representative at the American Society of Agronomy, at pmagana@sciencesocieties.org or 608-268-4954, or to your state CCA administrator.

For Pennsylvania CCAs, this is Jay Howes, jhowes@pennag.com or 717-574-4510.

CCAs are still encouraged to seek out virtual programming. Our Grain Crop Production Series, which can be viewed live or on-demand as recordings, includes regionally relevant CEUs. It is available at bit.ly/grain-series

The international CCA office also has several options for those seeking credits. A subscription format that was introduced in 2019 includes one year of unlimited access to most online offerings for $100.

Live webinars hosted on the CCA website are free to view live as long as you register ahead of time. If you can’t watch them as they air, you do get access to the recordings for 30 days afterward.

Free online CEUs are also available through the Crop Protection Network (ceu.cropprotectionnetwork.org), Mosaic (mosaic-online-learning.com), USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (conservationwebinars.net) and Ag CEU Online (agceuonline.com).

Remember that you are also able to self-report up to 20 of your CEUs each cycle. That would be for any meetings, trainings, plot tours, etc., that you attended over the course of the two years that did not have sign-in sheets or board-approved credits.

Just log in to certifiedcropadviser.org, hover over “My Account” at the top, hover over “Certifications” in the drop-down menu, and then click on “Self-Report CEUs.”

Leon Ressler is a Penn State Extension educator based in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

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