Monsanto and weed scientists hold frank discussions about dicamba


Monsanto invited several dozen weed scientists and researchers to St. Louis last week to present data and discuss views on what led to off-target movement of dicamba on several million acres of soybeans in the U.S. this year.

While the manufacturers of new dicamba formulations, including Monsanto and BASF, have cited improper application and the need for more education among applicators, many scientists and academics have expressed concerns about the volatile nature of dicamba, and the potential for unpredictable vapour drift occurring after it’s been applied.

“It’s difficult to determine say three days out what’s going to happen weather-wise, and where this stuff is going to go. That’s where we have the biggest disconnect,” says Tom Wolf of Agrimetrix and, who was at the three-day closed meeting.

“I think we discussed what needed to be discussed,” he says, in the interview below.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and state regulators are currently considering options for preventing having a similar situation unfold in 2018, with the number of dicamba-tolerant soybean acres potentially doubling to over 40 million.

Wolf says the agronomists and researchers at the summit recommended Monsanto decouple the sale of dicamba and dicamba-tolerant seed and that an emphasis be placed on pre-emerge application of the herbicide. They also discussed restricting the time of day and year when dicamba can or should be applied.

“We recognize dicamba is important, but I think we need to be a little more cautious when and how it’s applied,” he says.

Related: More pieces needed to solve dicamba drift puzzle

Listen to Tom’s conversation with Shaun, as heard on RealAg Radio this week (the dicamba discussion starts at around 1:30):

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