Farmers respond to herbicide training

Series of learning sessions on proper application and handling of crop-protection products that contain dicamba have generated widespread interest.

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If you want to receive certification of training on applying crop-protection products containing dicamba to soybeans, plan to provide an original email address and to stay for the entire session. This one in Utica lasted a little more than an hour, but they could last up to two hours. (Photos by Mike Orso)

By Mike Orso

More than 1,000 Illinois farmers have participated in a series of opportunities designed to help train them and other herbicide applicators on using crop-protection products that contain dicamba. The federal EPA announced last fall that anyone planning to use the products in 2018 must participate in training and keep a record of training certification.

“It was quicker than I thought it would be,” said Toluca (LaSalle County) farmer Bob Fecht, who participated in a recent session held in northern Illinois. Fecht, along with close to 150 others, participated in Utica.

Trainers supplied by two of the three companies that offer the herbicides used on soybeans resistant to dicamba – BASF and Monsanto – conduct the trainings. The trainers review over a dozen practices, such as buffers, boom height, nozzles, record keeping, spray volume, tank-mix partners and others needed to provide proper application.

Bob Fecht, right, president of the Marshall-Putnam Farm Bureau, waits to sign out of a recent dicamba application training meeting held in LaSalle County. More than 30 additional trainings throughout Illinois will take place in January through March.
Bob Fecht, right, president of the Marshall-Putnam Farm Bureau, waits to sign out of a recent dicamba application training meeting held in LaSalle County. More than 30 additional trainings throughout Illinois will take place in January through March.

More than three dozen training sessions remain, running from Jan. 3 through March. Click this link for more information and to register.

“I’ve sprayed, myself, for 38 years,” said Bradford (Stark County) farmer Jim Young. “When you run your own sprayer and things aren’t right, I quit.”

Related: Herbicide training works, says weed specialist. Read more here.

Young, who traveled more than an hour to attend the Utica session, used both the soybean crop-protection product that contains dicamba and the soybean seed that produces plants resistant to the product.

Westin Montavon, who also participated in Utica and farms near Sublette (Lee County) did this year as well.

“After hearing what happened in Missouri last year, we were pretty adamant to get here,” said Montavon.

Groups such as Illinois Farm Bureau, Illinois Corn Growers Association, Illinois Department of Agriculture, Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association and Illinois Soybean Growers have worked together to coordinate the dicamba training sessions across the state.

Content for this story was provided by FarmWeekNow.com.

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