Dicamba in all its forms gets prime focus at the Pest Management Field Day, July 7 at the University of Missouri Bradford Research Center. “It’s the first year for legal use of the weed-control system in Missouri,” says Kevin Bradley, MU Extension plant scientist.
Bradley got to know dicamba last year when off-label use caused major damage to neighbors’ crops in the Missouri Bootheel.
The herbicide has been studied in MU plots before release. “This is different from anything before,” Bradley says. “It’s not like Roundup Ready. It’s not like LibertyLink.”
His research shows application must occur before weeds reach 4 inches tall. Also, surrounding plants can be very sensitive to off-target movement of this herbicide.
“Droplet size is important,” Bradley says. Fine drops, which can cause major damage, move by breezes or temperature inversions.
Users must read not only the label but also websites posted by companies.
There are specific rules that must be followed, Bradley says. “These are unlike anything we’ve had with any other product.”
Bradley’s most recent message is “Consider your neighbor this spray season.”
Besides a variety of research results on dicamba and the Xtend weed-control system, hundreds of other plots will be shown on wagon tours at the field day. Hot topics on the tours include horseweed control and prevalence of resistant horseweed in Missouri, how cover crops and weed control fit together, and new pasture weed results.
Those attending receive maps of all plots. People can go back to study plots of interest after lunch. “There’s more to see than can be covered by tours,” Bradley says. “Guides will point out plots of interest where wagons don’t stop.”
Visitors are urged to come back. Plots are mapped, with ID signs, for follow-up visits.
On-site registration starts at 8 a.m. At 8:30 a.m., Bradley tells the plan for the day, then the wagons roll.
Bradley tests company products before they’re released. He’s noted for his frank analysis. The MU Bradford plots are his largest effort in the state. For details, go to http://bradford.cafnr.org/. For his weed science website, visit weedscience.missouri.edu.
Advance registration is needed by June 30 for lunch, refreshments and handouts. The fee is paid on arrival. To enroll, call the farm at (573) 884-7945 or email [email protected].
Continuing education units for crop advisers are pending, Bradley says.
Bradford Research Center is at 4968 Rangeline Road, about 8 miles east of Columbia, Mo. It’s part of the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.