Dicamba Alert

Last year Dicamba damage wreaked havoc across America’s agriculture heartland after only one season of widespread use of EPA-approved dicamba herbicides. The sheer numbers affected by unintended dicamba exposure led to immediate 2018 label changes – primarily training for strict adherence to label instructions. Those changes cannot methodically prevent or limit the effects of drift.

A report conducted by Kevin Bradley at the University of Missouri, “A Final Report on Dicamba-injured Soybean Acres” found that 3.6 million acres of U.S. farmland (150,000 Iowa acres) had been damaged by dicamba drift. Reuben Baris, the acting chief of the herbicides branch of the EPA shared that over 2,700 individual reports were collected about dicamba-related damage, a number that Mr. Baris suggests understates the problem because most incidents went unreported.

PLEASE report incidents of suspected and evident drift as soon as possible (ideally within 48 hours) so a sample can be collected of the affected area. We know farmers don’t want to make reports or claims against their neighbors, but it is important that IDALS, the EPA and other governing entities are aware of the impact dicamba drift is making across the agriculture industry. There is no protection for organic farmers and conventional farmers that do not use non-Xtend soybeans and other broadleaf crops.

What can you do if you have been exposed to dicamba:

  • File a report by phoning 5152818591.  When claiming an accident, incident or loss due to a person’s use of a pesticide, you must file  an “Incident Report” with the IDALS pesticide bureau by phoning 515‐281‐8591 as soon as possible (within 48 hours) after the alleged date that damages occurred. 
  • If you are having difficulty filing your complaint – contact me (roz@iowaorganic.org), and I will directly help you file your report.

The report needs to contain:    

  • the name of the person allegedly responsible for the application of said pesticide; 
  • the name of the owner or lessee of the land on which the crop is grown and for which damage is alleged to have occurred; 
  • the date on which the alleged damage occurred; 
  • brief description of the incident; 
  • where damage is alleged to have occurred, the claimant shall permit the secretary, the licensee  and the licensee’s representatives, such as surety  or insurer, to observe within reasonable hours the lands or non-target organism alleged to have been damaged.  Failure of the claimant to permit such observation shall automatically bar the claim against the licensee. 

Helpful Links:

Please do not hesitate to contact IOA with questions or requests for information or assistance.

Thank you!

Rosalyn Lehman
Executive Director
Iowa Organic Association


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