Minnesota’s first-ever farmer led task force assembled Monday to examine the data and science behind suspected dicamba damage reports in Minnesota and to find a solution to develop best management practices concerning the use of dicamba. The drift task force aims to work with industry and researchers to help glean answers and options for maximizing the potential of this technology.
“Dicamba has been around for many years and shown to be effective with timely application,” says Bob Worth, Lake Benton farmer and chairman of the drift task force. “This meeting was an opportunity to discuss dicamba concerns with industry, university, and state government regulators. Our job, as members of the task force, is to represent the 27,000 Minnesota soybean farmers when it comes to conversations between industry and government regulators. While at times these conversations were difficult, we were effective in finding common ground on issues such as clarification and improvements to the label, enhanced education practices and application timing.”
The farmer led task force is comprised of MSGA and Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSR&PC) farmer leaders. Joining Worth on the task force is Joel Schreurs, Cole Trebesch, Pat Sullivan, Steve Commerford, and Bob Lindeman.
Others present at Monday’s meeting were University of Minnesota extension specialists, representatives from agricultural chemical companies and cooperatives, and Minnesota Department of Agriculture officials.
“Farmers are choosing seed right now and should continue to make seed decisions based on yield and agronomic characteristics, not concerns for protection from dicamba,” Commerford says. “Choosing soybean seed as a protection to dicamba should not be a part of your seed selection.”
The second drift task force meeting will convene at a later date, aiming to deliver its investigative reports and best management practices to growers after receiving and reviewing off target incidents of dicamba application.