CropLife spoke with Ryan Rubischko, Dicamba Portfolio Leader with Monsanto, on a variety of topics, including the Missouri Department of Agriculture’s decision last week to extend the cut-off date for applications of dicamba products due to the cold, wet spring that has delayed plantings.
Read part 2 of the conversation about his take on nifty new dicamba-related tools in tomorrow’s Daily Dicamba Update.
CL: Can you talk about the Missouri decision and Monsanto’s reaction to it?
Mainly for our standpoint, we wanted to highlight the fact that we were happy to see the Missouri Department of Ag recognizing with the recent weather and delayed planting season, that they are looking to provide farmers with additional access to this new technology for dicamba products. The extension gives at least another 10 days of access.
The other key point is, we know there are other states that have implemented cut-off dates, and we certainly hope they will also review, and potentially extend their application window as well.
CL: Has planting been delayed basically everywhere?
It really has. I was in Minnesota yesterday, and I was happy to see no snow for the most part. But they still have some time to go until broad planting will get taken care of here in the northern part of the country.
CL: How did the extension come about – do you have any insight into that?
It was really (Missouri Director of Agriculture) Chris Chinn and her team that led that effort, recognizing (the need) for the southeast Missouri growers and those individual counties. The other states that sit with particular cut-off dates are North Dakota and Minnesota. They have a late-June time frame in terms of cut-off, and those are areas that have been impacted by delays due to weather as well.
CL: How much difference will those 10 extra days make? Are there still going to be missed opportunities?
What’s always been outlined in the label — and why we’ve been adamant from a Monsanto standpoint, and why we don’t believe cut-off dates are necessary — is that there are already cut-off time frames in terms of the stage of the soybean crop. So, R1 is that time frame at which soybeans start to flower and is the cut-off for applying these new dicamba products, including XtendiMax. They are already built-in in terms of the stage of the crop, rather than choosing something on the calendar, which we all know can vary from year to year.
We were very pleased to see Missouri’s decision in advance, so it does give growers time to plan out their applications several weeks in advance, versus waiting until the end. In some cases that could be problematic for growers if those decisions aren’t made in advance.
CL: Are you still expecting expanded acreage in Missouri?
We do. That footprint of doubling the acres from a soybean standpoint and continued growth in XtendFlex cotton is broad, Missouri included. Right now we are projecting 50 million-plus acres of Roundup Ready Xtend soybeans and XtendFlex cotton for the 2018 season. Last year, just to give you perspective, it was roughly 25 million acres of both soybeans and cotton combined.
CL: Are you optimistic that – given all the training that’s happened since last year – things will go better this year?
We are. One statistic that demonstrates that optimism is, there’s been over 80,000 farmers and custom applicators that have gone through and completed the mandatory training for this coming season. That’s a strong number that number one, indicates that there’s a strong desire to utilize these dicamba products. Farmers wouldn’t be taking time to attend these trainings unless they didn’t anticipate planning to spray dicamba this coming season. Within those, most of those were 90-plus minute sessions either led by the registrants like Monsanto – or in some cases like Missouri or Tennessee, they led the training. The focus was on dicamba and the key features within the label and overall best management practices. That really was a key finding for us this past season in 2017: for people to have that training and education on how do we best utilize these new technologies.
Read more on the label requirements here:
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