Traditional cotton with dicamba drift injury on one row vs healthy. Photo – Jay Ferrell
The past two months have been life altering for many farmers in the southeast, especially the Florida Panhandle. Hurricane Michael made landfall in the Panhandle on October 10th and left a path of destruction spanning several counties as it continued into Southwest Georgia. With the aftermath of Michael, farmers from Walton to Gadsden counties were left without power and severe damage to crops and equipment.
On October 31st, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it was extending the registration of Dicamba for over-the-top (OTT) use for weed control in transgenic cotton and soybean. Dicamba products approved for use on dicamba-tolerant crops include Engenia (BASF), XtendiMax (Monsanto), and FeXapan (Corteva). This announcement came during a period when much of Jackson and Calhoun Counties, a large cotton producing area, wwere without power. The purpose of this article is to help promote the announcement and raise awareness regarding label changes for products approved for use in Dicamba-tolerant cotton and soybean. Another product to follow is chlorpyrifos, better known as Lorsban, which, depending on outcomes of legal/regulatory proceedings, will likely still be available for use during the 2019 season.
Along with the EPA announcement of the two-year extension in registration of dicamba products used in row crops (now through 2020), new restrictions were revealed that will be integrated into product labels. It is imperative that growers read these labels and understand what these changes mean regarding product use. Dicamba is currently registered for OTT use in cotton and soybean in 34 states, including Florida, Georgia, and Alabama.
In 2019, only restricted use pesticide applicators will be allowed to make applications. The purchase and application of dicamba products used on herbicide tolerant crops will not be permitted by those without a pesticide license and the appropriate category, even under the supervision of a licensed applicator. This means that authorized purchasers on an applicators license will no longer be able to purchase the products, only the certified applicatorthemselves. Everyone must now have their own license if they wish to buy or apply these products registered for use on Dicamba-tolerant crops. Depending on their situation, Florida growers will be required to have a Private Applicator or commercial license with the Row Crop category. Obtaining a license means individuals must pass the two necessary pesticide exams with at least a 70 percent, the Core exam and the category exam (Private or Row crop). Exams can be administered at your local Extension Office, but please call ahead to make an appointment. They can also help you decide which license designation (private or commercial) bests applies to your situation. On top of having a restricted use pesticide license, applicators will also be required to attend a 2019 dicamba training, which will be similar to what was provided in March 2018. All individuals who will want to purchase or apply these products (or want the future option) during the 2019 season will need to attend the new dicamba training, regardless of if they attended the one in 2018. A training date has not yet been selected for Florida, but it will likely be a similar timeframe to the 2018 training. Early spring probably around March, using a web format, broadcast from one central location to participating Extension Offices. The date will be announced once the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) has finalized the specifics, stay in contact with your local Extension Office.
The training will address updates to product labels such as the postemergence application window, number of applications, buffer zones, sensitive areas, application hours, record keeping, spray solution pH, and more.
For more information regarding the 2019 dicamba updates, check out the links below:
Registration of Dicamba for Use on Dicamba-Tolerant Crops
EPA Announces Changes To Dicamba Registration
Dicamba: Moving Forward- 7 Label Changes
Since 1965 chlorpyrifos has been used as a pesticide in the agricultural sector. It is commonly used as an insecticide in the production of crops such as corn, peanut, and soybean, among others. It is recognizable to most farmers under the brand name Lorsban. Chlorpyrifos is a cholinesterase inhibitor which can cause problems in people exposed to high enough doses. This means that it can overstimulate the nervous system resulting in symptoms such as nausea, dizziness, and confusion.
Since 2000, the EPA has evaluated and modified the use of chlorpyrifos several times. In 2017, the EPA denied a petition requesting to revoke of all pesticide tolerances (residue level allowed in food) for the chemical and for the cancellation of all chlorpyrifos registrations. On August 9, 2018, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the EPA to ban chlorpyrifos within 60 days. In September the EPA appealed the decision, and the Department of Justice asked the Ninth Circuit to reconsider its opinion. Over 100 days have passed since the ban was requested with the 60-day deadline, and it appears that chlorpyrifos will remain available for use until the legal/regulatory proceedings are finished.
For more information regarding the 2019 use of chlorpyrifos or the EPA’s history regarding this product, check out the links below:
Lorsban should be available for 2019 use, MSU finds
In response to the large amount of storm debris from Hurricane Michael, the Florida Forest Service and the University of Florida Gadsden County Extension Service will be offering a Certified Pile Burner Course in Quincy, Florida. Normally this course includes a $50 per person registration fee, but the fee has been waived to assist with storm recovery. For the next several months, because of the risk of wildfires and the challenge of private property access, only certified pile burners will be issued commercial permits in the primary impact region of Hurricane Michael.
Class size will be limited, so register early. This course will show you how to burn piles legally, safely, and efficiently. This training will be held from 8:30 am till 4:30 pm at the North Florida Research & Education Center, 155 Research Rd, Quincy, Florida.
There will be a test at the end of the session. You must receive a grade of 70% or higher on the exam to pass the course. After passing the course, you will need to demonstrate a proper pile burn with approval from your local Florida Forest Service (FFS) office to become certified.
Florida’s Certified Pile Burner Training Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why should I be a certified pile burner?
A: Certified pile burners are trained to burn piles legally, safely and efficiently. Most importantly, it could save a life. Also, when the weather is dry, certified pile burners will receive priority for authorization to burn by the Florida Forest Service (FFS). Also, certified pile burners are allowed to burn up to two hours longer per day and get multiple day authorizations.
Q: What is a Pile Burner Customer Number?
A: When you call the FFS for an authorization to burn, you will be assigned a personal customer number. This number references your information, so it doesn’t need to be gathered each time you call for an authorization. You must have your individual FFS customer number in order to be certified.
Q: Is there a test?
A: Yes, the test is 20 questions and open-book. You must receive a score of at least 70% to pass.
Q: What if I don’t pass?
A: Very few people fail the test but if you do, you will be provided another opportunity to take the test at a later date. If you fail the second time, you must re-register and take the training again.
Q: Why do you ask for my email on the application form?
A: Email is the fastest and most convenient method to inform registrants of their registration status. If no email address is provided, then all correspondence will be sent through the federal mail. This can take several days to relay messages, and this may not be practical if changes are made to the course schedule or for last minute registrations.
Q: Is there a cost for the training?
A: No. This is a special class in response to Hurricane Michael, the traditional $50 fee has been waived for these courses.
Q: How long does my certification last, and how long do I have to complete the certification from the time I finish the class?
A: As long as the person with the certification uses their number at least 5 times in a period of 5 years their certification will not expire under the current program. You MUST complete the certification burn within a year of taking the class.
Q: Will certified burners be notified if their certification expires?
A: Yes, notification will be sent out to them to let them know of their upcoming certification expiration date.
Q: Will I be certified at the end of the one-day training?
A: No, you will need to follow the written instructions that you will receive from the FFS to become certified. You will need to complete a simple burn plan, have it reviewed and approved locally by the FFS and also have the burn itself reviewed and approved by the FFS.
Q: Is there a minimum age to be a certified pile burner?
A: Yes, you must be at least 18 years old to take the test and be a certified pile burner.
For more information, contact:
Florida Forest Service
Cow-calf ranchers have an opportunity to add value to the weaned calves they sell, through a cooperative board sale. For the past 24 years cattle producers in Southeast Alabama, Southwest Georgia, and Northwest Florida have joined together to form marketing groups that jointly offer weaned calves in groups. The main concept of these board sales is to offer uniform groups of calves that have been weaned for 60 days, have been vaccinated and boostered, from producers that are Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) certified.
Ideally the cattle are sold in ~50,000 pound truckload groups, but they do not have to be. In 2017, there were 12 lots of less than truckload-sized groups that sold. The cattle are videoed over the summer, so that buyers can see the quality, and are sold through a telephone conference call auction that originates from the Houston County Extension Office, Dothan Alabama. Mosely Brothers Cattle Company, Blakely, GA serves as the sales consultant to provide a bonded middleman to connect buyers and sellers.
The cattle never leave the farm of origin until the agreed upon delivery date. The cattle are either weighed on the ranch or on the truck. If they are weighed on the truck, at the closest truck scale, the final sale weight will include a 2% shrink. Weights made prior to loading at the ranch include a 3% shrink. The buyer makes the trucking arrangements and pays the freight costs.
What are the key advantages to this type of sale?
The primary advantage is that cow-calf producers can sell groups of cattle through a telephone auction, so neither buyers or cattle have to be on-site. Buyers have access to more than 2,500 head of uniform, source verified cattle from some of the better managed ranches in the area. The buyers are provided health sheets, with verified treatments from a licensed veterinarian. Each calf is tagged with the farm of origin, so buyers can track performance and purchase from that farm again in the future. The cattle are never commingled with cattle from other farms, unless two farms sell jointly to fill a load. Ranchers get a premium for selling cattle with two-rounds of vaccines, that have been weaned and fed for an extended period. The buyer purchases groups of cattle that remain healthy because they have been immunized correctly, have been started on feed, and are more uniform than trying to put groups together from auction markets where cattle must be commingled from multiple farms to make uniform truckloads.
The bottom line for the rancher is that they can sell weaned calves for ~$100 per head premium. The chart below compares the 2017 SAFE Sale prices to similar weight calves sold that same week. Although this comparison is not completely fair, because the calf delivery was one to two months later, it does give you an idea of the value comparison at the same point in time, and an approximate increase in value from participating in this sale last year.
What are the disadvantages?
Selling in a joint sale will always create challenges. For these Board Sales to work, every member and buyer has to agree on the set guidlines. There is also more work, expense, and risk with keeping cattle on the farm an extra 60 days after weaning. The reason for the 60 days is that it takes time for weaned cattle to get back to their original weight after weaning, and to adjust to life without Mamma. Since these cattle are kept separate from the main herd, ranchers also have to provide space for them from weaning until delivery.
Cattle are sold based on weight, but with a Board Sale the seller has to make an estimate of the average weight at the advertised delivery date. To make this estimate work, cattle are sold with a “price slide.” The SAFE Sale catalog explains price slide with this statement, “Price slides are used to protect against weight variances by adjusting the final bid price (sale price), which allows for a more accurate calf value for transaction between a buyer and seller based on the actual delivery weight (including shrink).” For example a rancher estimates in July that his steers will average 625 pounds at delivery, but in September, when the cattle are weighed for delivery, the steers actually weigh 660 pounds. The price per pound would then be adjusted $8/cwt lower, because the cattle were heavier than estimated. The price slide then protects both buyer and seller, because the auction is held one to two months in advance of delivery.
Want to learn more about the Alabama SAFE Sale?
The following links show the catalog from last year’s offering and also a summary of the final sales. There is also an example of one of the videos from a Florida ranch that participated last year.
The following is the video was provided for buyers to view steer calves that were sold through the Alabama Safe Sale by Melvin Adams, Graceville, Florida, in 2017
Think you might want to participate?
The 24th annual Southeast Alabama Feeder Cattle Marketing Association (SAFE) sale has been scheduled for 6:00 PM, Thursday, August 9, 2018 at the Houston County Extension Office, adjacent to the Houston County Farm Center (1699 Ross Clark Circle, Dothan, AL 36301). If you think you might be interested in joining the association, now is the time to get started.
- The first step is to get your BQA Certification. BQA certification is important, even if you don’t participate in the Board Sale. BQA training is something every rancher and their employees should participate in. Check out the video that explains why this is important.
BQA Certification requires completion of a series on online training video modules. Utilize the following link to access the Cow-Calf BQA Certification training module.
- The next step is to contact Rickey Hudson, AL SAFE Sale Coordinator, and let him know you are interested, and provide an estimate of the number of cattle you want to sell, so the farm tags can be ordered. You will also need to get a copy of the Calf Health Record & Processing Sheet that will be included in the sale catalog with your cattle.
Regional Extension Agent – Animal Science / Forages
Wiregrass Research & Extension Center
- The third step is to work with your local veterinarian to set up the health protocol, and vaccination schedule. Make sure you use the Calf Health Record sheet to document the products used.
- The final step is to work with Mosley Brothers Cattle Company to get a video made, and develop a listing for the sale catalog.
Last year, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registered new dicamba herbicide product formulations for making applications to dicamba tolerant cotton and soybean crops. As a result, many states were overwhelmed with drift complaints regarding sensitive crops. This led to the 2018 EPA announcement requiring that anyone who wishes to apply dicamba to dicamba tolerant crops MUST participate in an auxin herbicide training before making applications in 2018.
[warning]This training is required of anyone applying newer dicamba products registered for use on dicamba tolerant cotton and soybeans.[/warning]
Product examples include XtendiMax, Engenia, and FeXapan. Applicators using older dicamba formulations in other crops (corn, forages, small grains, sorghum, and turf) can still apply dicamba products without having this training but thoseproducts CANNOT be used on the dicamba tolerant crops. If you have questions regarding the use of these products or if you need the training, call your local Extension Office before making any applications.
On March 16, Extension Offices from across the state hosted an online two-hour dicamba training, which was broadcasted live from Gainesville. This training was overseen by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS), who determined that the CEU form received from completion of this training would serve as the official documentation of attendance. If applicators desire to use the form for CEUs towards renewal of their pesticide license, they are required to keep an additional copy in their possession as proof of completing the dicamba training.
The training was recorded live and made available to all participating Extension Offices (see below). If you plan to make dicamba applications to dicamba tolerant cotton or soybean, you MUST complete this training before making any applications. The training is not required before planting dicamba genetics, but without the training dicamba cannot be sprayed on the crop. If you plan to spray the crop with dicamba, or want the weed control option later in the season, the training is mandatory.
[important]The recorded training has been made available to all participating Extension Offices. Applicators are required to watch it at the Extension Office, where it can be proctored by an agent who is a certified CEU provider and can issue/sign the CEU form. There are no exceptions, you must watch the training at an Extension Office. In the Panhandle, participating Extension Offices with access to the training include: Calhoun, Escambia, Gadsden, Holmes, Jefferson, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Walton, and Washington Counties. Contact information for the different offices can be found using the following link: Florida County Extension Offices.[/important]