Applicators must have license to purchase new dicamba herbicides

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Unintentional damage to millions of acres of crops from the herbicide dicamba last year prompted changes in regulations. Anyone planning to buy one of the new dicamba formulations in 2018 must have either a private applicator or category-specific commercial applicator license and attend specific applicator training, according to Frannie Miller, integrated pest management coordinator at Kansas State University.

According to a Nov. 1, 2017, Environmental Protection Agency report, more than 3.6 million acres of soybeans, including 100,000 acres in Kansas were damaged by dicamba last year. Other crops including tomatoes, watermelon, cantaloupe, vegetables, plus trees and shrubs were also adversely affected.

“As we embark on the 2018 growing season, producers should be aware that dicamba herbicides Engenia, FeXapan, and XtendiMax are classified as Restricted Use Pesticides (RUPs),” said Miller, who is a pesticide safety specialist with K-State Research and Extension. “In order to be able to purchase these herbicides, you must possess either a private applicator license or a 1A (Agriculture Plant) commercial applicator license.”

In addition, the products have additional label restrictions when applying. An applicator must attend specific auxin inhibitor (dicamba) training in order to apply these products in the field for 2018. In Kansas, the trainings will be sponsored by K-State Research and Extension, as well as industry representatives from BASF, Dow/Dupont and Monsanto. It will be the responsibility of the applicators to obtain this training before the application of these herbicides.

The trainings will cover the label changes in detail and provide information on what you as an applicator need to do to meet these requirements, Miller said. The labels for these herbicides now include mandatory record keeping requirements, a reduced maximum wind speed (from 15 miles per hour down to 10 miles per hour), limited times of day applications can be made (between sunrise and sunset), revised list on sensitive crops and sensitive sites, and revised tank-clean out requirements.

The dates and locations for trainings are still being set and will be available at (scroll to Dicamba training). More information is available by contacting Miller at

Source: KSU Extension