Following EPA and state pesticide labels and regulations is important for liability concerns. Most business general liability insurance coverages do not cover illegal activities. If the label is not followed, it may impact the coverage a business has for causing damage to another person’s property.

To aid farmers and businesses in complying with pesticide regulations, educational information on EPA and state regulations are summarized below.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations

Applicators in all states must follow the label on the product issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Dicamba products are classified as Restricted Use Pesticides with special labels because of earlier problems with off-target damages. Applicators must have either a commercial or private pesticide certification license to purchase and apply these dicamba formulations. Labels for these products impose the following additional requirements for over-the-top use of dicamba on genetically modified crops:

  • Only certified applicators may apply dicamba over the top (those working under the supervision of a certified applicator may no longer make applications)
  • Prohibit over-the-top application of dicamba on soybeans 45 days after planting and cotton 60 days after planting
  • For cotton, limit the number of over-the-top applications from four to two (soybeans remain at two OTT applications)
  • Applications will be allowed only from one hour after sunrise to two hours before sunset
  • In counties where endangered species may exist, the downwind buffer will remain at 110 feet, and there will be a new 57-foot buffer around the other sides of the field (the 110-foot downwind buffer applies to all applications, not just in counties where endangered species may exist)
  • Clarify training period for 2019 and beyond, ensuring consistency across all three products
  • Enhanced tank clean-out instructions for the entire system
  • Enhanced label to improve applicator awareness on the impact of low pHs on the potential volatility of dicamba
  • Label cleanup and consistency to improve compliance and enforceability

Additional state requirements

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has determined that dicamba formulations for in-season applications are Restricted Use Pesticides. Several states have added additional restrictions to the use of these pesticides and/or issued 24c Special Local Needs labels. The additional requirements below are in effect for 2019.

States with no additional regulations (other than the EPA label) are Kansas, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio and Wisconsin. Arkansas, Illinois, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota do have additional restrictions for the in-season application of dicamba formulations.

  Labels Cut-Off Application Date Buffer Requirements Additional Requirements
EPA   Must be applied within 45 days of planting soybeans and 60 days for cotton Counties with endangered species: Downwind buffer 110’ and 57’ buffer on other sides (110’ buffer applies to all applications)  
Arkansas Submitted 24(c)
to EPA
May 25 ½ mile around fields of sensitive row crop fields and 1 mile around specialty crops, organic crops and research fields Not permitted to mix with glyphosate
Illinois Submitted 24(c)
to EPA
June 30 Must maintain label-specified downwind buffer between last treated row and nearest downfield edge of any Illinois Nature Preserves Commission site Application prohibited when wind blowing toward residential areas and recommended to apply when wind is blowing away from sensitive areas
Consult FieldWatch registry and comply with label requirements
Minnesota 24(c) June 20    
North Dakota 24(c) June 30    
South Dakota Submitted 24(c)
to EPA
June 30    


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