Custom Applicators and Paperwork: The New Normal
With almost 3,000 complaints of off-target crop damage from growers across the Eastern U.S. logged during 2017, everyone in agriculture agrees that getting things “right” in Year Two of the expanded dicamba age will be critical to the marketplace keeping this technology in its arsenal to combat resistant weeds. And a big part of this will be recordkeeping.
“Custom applicators everywhere will need to have paperwork tracking their work when it comes to dicamba,” said Erick Springer, a representative for Ohio Spray Center, a John Deere equipment dealer in the Buckeye state, speaking at the 2018 Ohio AgriBusiness Association annual meeting. “This will be the new normal moving forward.”
In most states, applicators using dicamba in 2018 will have 14 days to fill in the necessary paperwork noting such factors as the amount sprayed, wind speed at the time of application (both start and finish), and how many acres were applied. However, in a few places such as Ohio, this initial paperwork must be completed on the day of application, with additional documents with even more details being finished within 14 days of the work.
But the paperwork goes beyond even this. According to BASF Representative Don Schneider, paperwork needs to be kept that details how sprayers were cleaned between dicamba and other herbicide application work. In other cases, speakers reported that some ag retailers are even keeping paperwork on hand detailing what products are being transported to customer fields in their tender trucks, just in case any issues come up later.
Schneider explained why keeping all this paperwork could be important for custom applicators and ag retailers, especially after the fact. “One of the things that throws people off is dicamba drift won’t show up with cupped leaves for a few weeks after the application was done,” he said. “It won’t affect older leaves. But it does show up once the new leaves start to appear. That’s why keeping track of everything done when using dicamba is important.”