Agronomy News and Tips


New Training Requirements for Soybean Herbicides Containing Dicamba

The EPA approved new herbicide labeling as of October of 2017  and has major changes. Please study the labels on the Missouri Department of Ag website for the Federal label and 24c label, which is Missouri specific.

Growers and certified applicators who will be applying the product will be required to have a private pesticide applicator license. Each person applying the product will be required to have the license rather than working under a growers license.

Also, private applicator licenses from other states than Missouri are not acceptable. The private pesticide applicator license must be a Missouri license.

Secondly, auxin herbicide training which is the new training requirements including dicamba are required. This training can be accessed on-line through the Missouri Department of Ag website or the University of Missouri Extension website and searching for “Synthetic Auxin Herbicide Applicator Training Program”

For more information, contact Wayne Flanary at 660-446-3724 or Andy Luke at 660-425-6434, Regional Agronomists, University of Missouri Extension.

MU To Offer Dicamba Training

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Dicamba application has presented challenges for Missouri agriculture, and the University of Missouri recognizes the importance of preparing our communities for managing this and similar technologies in the future.

Beginning in December 2017, the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, and MU Extension, in cooperation with the Missouri Department of Agriculture, will offer web-based and in-person training for those wishing to use or purchase dicamba in 2018. More information will be available at

On Oct. 13 the Environmental Protection Agency announced an agreement with Monsanto, BASF and DuPont on measures to minimize the potential for off-target movement of dicamba and further ensure effective use of three pesticides: DuPont’s FeXapan, BASF’s Engenia and Monsanto’s XtendiMax. The Missouri Department of Agriculture is reviewing these requirements as preparations are made for the 2018 growing season. The department is also working with MU and other researchers to strengthen education and training specific to dicamba and other auxin herbicides.

The full news release from the EPA is available at

More information about dicamba is available at Agriculture.Mo.Gov/dicamba.

Agronomy Newsletter

MU Variety Testing Program

The Missouri Crop Performance corn and soybean test results are available at your local extension office for free. When using the data, look at the sites across northern Missouri which represent different yield environments. Different yield environments provide an opportunity to see how a hybrid or variety will perform with different weather risks. Stop by your local extension office and pick up your free copy. For more information, contact MU Extension regional agronomist, Wayne Flanary at 660-446-3724.

Crop performance results are also available online from the MU Variety Testing Program.

Agronomy Technical Bulletin

MU Extension Agronomist Wayne Flanary discusses how to estimate crop yields prior to harvest:

What is Limiting Soybean Yield?

Often growers have told us “I have hit a soybean yield plateau. What can I do to increase yields?” If you feel you are in the same situation, here are some common sense considerations.  Are you planting the latest genetics? Companies are continually working to increase the yield of their seed products.

Secondly, timely planting and I might add, early planting. Early planting allows the plant to have time to grow vegetatively before the photoperiod triggers blooming.

Narrow row spacing adds yield compared to 30-inch row spacing. Averaged on four years of tests at Graves -Chapple, 15-inch row spacing contributed between 10 to 12 percent yield increase compared to 30-inch row spacing.

Optimum soil fertility levels are critical to high yields. Proper soil pH, phosphorus and potassium soil test levels provide plants the nutrients they need. Growers should understand target soil test levels and how to maintain levels for high soybean yields.  

Pre-emergence herbicide programs are critical for weed free fields. We recommend pre-emergence weed control with any second pass post-emergence control programs. Additionally, any post-emergence herbicide program requires controlling weeds when they are small. Small weeds are easier to control. Big weeds reduce yield through competition with the soybean plant, are hard to control, and increase cost of control.

Proper scouting for soybean insect and disease pests are critical for high yields. As we move into a time with lower grain prices, it becomes critical for growers to use economic thresholds and determine when and why a particular pest should be controlled. Growers should increase their management skills so they can make effective decisions.

At last, the weather component of growing soybeans is one of the main drivers of yield. Each season is different and given the soil resource, can increase or reduce yields. Growers should go through each of their management and input decisions and search for ways to improve yields.

For more information, contact Wayne Flanary at 660-446-3724 or Andy Luke at 660-425-6434, Regional Agronomists, University of Missouri Extension.