In the midst of this busy application and planting season, make sure you don’t neglect exact herbicide application rules. Read the label.
Minnesota Department of Agriculture commissioner Gene Hugoson says to watch herbicide setback rules. “Many products have setback requirements, so it is important to carefully read the pesticide product label before using a product.”
Atrazine, and pre-packaged or tank mixes containing atrazine, carry label-specific application setback requirements. These application setback requirements are measured as the distance between a sensitive area and the area of application. Legal requirements include a 66-foot application setback from the area where field runoff enters streams, rivers and certain types of tile inlets, a 200-foot setback from lakes and reservoirs, and a 50-foot setback from wells (including irrigation wells) or sinkholes.
Some insecticide products used to control soybean aphid require both a 10-foot vegetative filter strip, and an application setback of 25 feet for ground applications or 150 feet for aerial applications near surface waters.
Weed and pest control might be difficult in areas where effective products cannot be used. If corn or soybeans are planted near surface water, sinkholes or wells, use of certain pesticide products may be prohibited. Options in these areas include not applying products that carry such restrictions, not cropping these areas, or using alternative products that do not carry application setback or filter strip requirements.
Carefully reading labels and working with an ag professional or chemical dealer can resolve the selection of weed and pest control products. Commercial applicators responsible for pesticide applications must follow label requirements and cannot be expected to apply products in areas where such use is a violation of the label.