IFB official discusses new rules for 2019 dicamba use

'Operators' must now be certified applicators, too.

In-person and web-based training opportunities for farmers have begun. Anyone planning to apply dicamba in 2019 must be a certified applicator and will be required to take dicamba-specific training this winter. (Illinois Farm Bureau file photo)

By Jim Taylor

Planning to use crop protection products containing dicamba in 2019? You’re going to want to read this.

The new label means some changes for those who apply the product.

“You have to be a certified applicator in 2019,” said Lyndsey Ramsey, associate director of natural and environmental resources, Illinois Farm Bureau. “Last year, and previously, you could be a licensed operator working under a certified applicator.”

But that’s no longer the case. If you have a private applicator’s license or commercial applicator’s license, you are good to go heading into 2019.

“If you are a licensed operator, you have to go in and take your field crops test and pay the difference to get yourself to the level of a commercial applicator,” Ramsey said.

Dicamba specific training is also now an annual requirement for applicators.

“Even if you went to dicamba training last year, you have to go again this year,” Ramsey said.

For 2019, it all boils down to the word “use” under the Illinois Pesticide Act.

“Anybody that’s going to use the product has to be a certified applicator,” Ramsey said, adding that even if you only mix or load the product, or just open the jug, you have to be certified applicator. “The only difference is that if you’re transporting only, you do not have to be a certified applicator.”