Illinois Dicamba Use on Soybeans: 2020

On June 3, 2020, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion vacating the registrations of three dicamba herbicides – Bayer’s Xtendimax, BASF’s Engenia, and Corteva’s FeXapan (note that the court’s decision does not address Tavium, Syngenta’s dicamba herbicide).

On June 8, 2020, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) issued a cancellation order providing farmers with needed clarity regarding that order. The order outlines limited and specific circumstances under which existing stocks of the three affected dicamba products can be used for a limited period of time.

On June 9, 2020, the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) issued the following statement regarding USEPA’s cancellation of the affected dicamba products and the use of existing stocks:

The EPA’s final cancellation order outlines limited and specific circumstances under which existing stocks of the three affected dicamba products may be used.  Pursuant to the final cancellation order, existing stocks are those which are currently in the United States and which were packaged, labeled, and released for shipment prior to the time of the vacatur order on June 3, 2020.  The EPA’s order permits use of existing stocks of Xtendimax, FeXapan, and Engenia as follows:

     a. Distribution or sale by the registrant. Distribution or sale by the registrant of all existing stocks is prohibited effective as of the time of the order on June 3, except for distribution for the purposes of proper disposal.

     b. Distribution or sale by persons other than the registrant. Distribution or sale of existing stocks that are already in the possession of persons other than the registrant is permitted only for the purposes of proper disposal or to facilitate return to the registrant or a registered establishment under contract with the registrant, unless otherwise allowed below.

     c. Distribution or sale by commercial applicators. Distribution or sale of existing stocks that are in the possession of commercial applicators is permitted.

     d. Use. Use of existing stocks inconsistent in any respect with the previously-approved labeling accompanying the product is prohibited.

Use of existing stocks of these products must be consistent with the previously-approved labeling.  All conditions of IDOA’s registrations under section 24(c) of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) remain in effect, including the prohibition of applications when the forecasted temperature exceeds 85 degrees. However, the June 20, 2020 application cutoff date has been extended to June 25, 2020.    

IDOA provided this FAQ sheet regarding USEPA’s dicamba cancellation order issued on June 8, 2020 .  

As new information becomes available, IDOA will provide updates on its website. 

On Oct. 31, 2018, USEPA issued a decision to allow the continued use of dicamba on soybean for the crop years 2019 and 2020.

And in November 2019, IDOA issued 24c Special Local Needs Labels that enact specific restrictions for use in Illinois.


The Illinois 24c label requires the following provisions be followed:

  1. DO NOT apply this product if the air temperature at the field at the time of application is over 85 degrees Fahrenheit or if the National Weather Service’s forecasted high temperature for the nearest available location for the day of application exceeds 85 degrees Fahrenheit (Local National Weather Service forecast are available at
  2. DO NOT apply this product after June 20, 2020.
  3. DO NOT apply this product when the wind is blowing toward adjacent residential areas.
  4. Before making an application of this product, the applicator must consult the FieldWatch sensitive crop registry ( and comply with all associated record keeping label requirements.
  5. Maintain the label-specified downwind buffer between the last treated row and the nearest downfield edge of any Illinois Nature Preserves Commission site.
  6. It is best to apply product when the wind is blowing away from sensitive areas, which include but are not limited to bodies of water and non-residential, uncultivated areas that may harbor sensitive plant species.

The additional general provisions of the dicamba labels are: 

  • Only certified applicators may apply dicamba over the top (those working under the supervision of a certified applicator may no longer make applications);
    • ​For farmers (private applicators) if you have a relative, business partner or farm employee apply dicamba on your farm, they must have a current private applicator license issued by the State of Illinois.  
    • For ag retailers, licensed operators must have passed the field crop exam in addition to the general standards exam in order to be licensed as a certified commercial applicator to apply dicamba.  
    • To see the schedule of private and commercial applicator training and testing clinics, visit University of Illinois Extension Pesticide Safety Education Program.
  • Prohibits over-the-top application of dicamba on soybeans 45 days after planting and cotton 60 days after planting - however, compliance with the June 20, 2020 cutoff day supercedes any planting date restriction;  
  • For soybean, limits the number of over-the-top applications to 2 applications;
  • Applications will be allowed only from 1 hour after sunrise to 2 hours before sunset;
  • In counties where endangered species may exist, the downwind buffer will remain at 110 feet to protect sensitive areas, and there is a 57-foot omnidirectinoal buffer around all other sides of the field to protect sensitive areas (the 110-foot downwind buffer applies to all applications, not just in counties where endangered species may exist). Click here to see a map of Illinois showing the counties where applications of dicamba on soybean must also comply with the 57 foot omnidirectional buffer to protect sensitive areas;   
  • ​Dicamba-specific training will again be required for anyone applying dicamba in 2020.  
  • Enhanced tank clean out instructions for the entire system;
  • Enhanced label to improve applicator awareness on the impact of low pH’s on the potential volatility of dicamba; and
  • Label consistency to improve compliance and enforceability.

The registration for all dicamba products will expire on December 20, 2020, unless EPA further extends it. Learn more.

Federal Labels:
Special Local Needs SLN (state) Labels: