ST. PAUL – Rep. Dale Lueck, R-Aitkin, and other members of House agriculture committees are asking that a new June 20 deadline for the application of dicamba herbicides in farm fields be extended.
The request, filed with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture on Tuesday, follows unusual weather-related events this year. Heavy April snowfalls caused delays in Minnesota’s planting season and then persistent June rains further slowed progress. That has left little to no opportunity for applicators to spray their dicamba-tolerant soybeans this year, the first in which the state’s new June 20 deadline is in place.
“We all know there are certain things you just can’t control in farming and the weather is right at the top of the list,” Lueck said. “That said, the state certainly can adjust this deadline to provide a little more breathing room, especially since it’s only in its first year of existence. A simple 10-day extension would really lessen the pressure for farmers who face enough other challenges without the state adding to the pressures.”
Lueck and several other House members issued a letter to the Department of Agriculture on Tuesday, formally requesting leeway with the new deadline. The letter states, in part:
“We, as members of the House agriculture committees, ask you to extend the date to allow for the application of dicamba at least through the month of June, to match our neighbor North Dakota, which has a June 30th cut-off date. We would also make it clear that we expect applicators to continue following all requirements on the Federal label, as well as MDA’s prohibition of dicamba application when temperatures exceed 85 degrees Fahrenheit.”
The full letter can be viewed at www.house.mn.10b, under the “News Items” section.