CRAIGHEAD COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - As crop season approaches, there is new mandatory training required for Dicamba use in Arkansas.
According to Jason Davis, application technologist with the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, new crop systems are available from chemical companies.
"With it, it's a package that comes with new herbicides so you can spray the herbicides on the crop technology," Davis said. "They are genetically modified to these chemistries."
Davis said with that, it is important to remember there are several sensitive crops in the fields.
"So, it becomes very important when applying those chemistries to do them appropriately," he said. "Both the federal labels and state regulations have changed each year for the past three years, so with those updates in regulations, the training requirement has become even more critical to adjust our training each year to accommodate our applicators."
In the past, farmers were only required to have their Restricted Use of Pesticide license for the use of Dicamba. The license is good for three years.
Now; however, to use Dicamba or Enlist 2, 4-D formulations, new online training is required.
"What we are trying to avoid with these online trainings by making it a separate deal that is required each year, you don't end up with a producer that's accidentally, because of the license that they have only expires every three years, they don't end up being out of the loop of information for two or three years with these new products."
Along with the mandatory online training comes an increased fine for the misuse of these herbicides.
"In the past, it's been about a $1,000 maximum and going into this year, the new products have a $25,000 per violation, so there's a pretty heavy penalty for not using the products correctly," Davis said.
To get certified farmers go through an online training module, which is specific to the chemistries selected, followed by a 20-question exam.
Farmers can take the test as many times as needed but have to make a 90% on it.
You can visit the University of Arkansas' Department of Agriculture website here to take the online training.