Delta Plastics is Taking a New Approach to Polytube Collections Program By: Matt Lindsey, Director of Irrigation, Delta Plastics

This year Delta Plastics is taking a new approach to our Polytube Collections program in order to better serve our customers and become more efficient in our recycling efforts. Namely, we’ve introduced a Call to Collect model that allows our team to better identify or “spot” Delta polytube for collection and plan full truckload routes before we send the big trucks out to collect. This helps us operate more efficiently while still providing the same value-add collections service you rely on from Delta. If you see our trucks passing your used polytube, it’s because they no longer have room to pick up the odd roll here and there.  You can get your used pipe on the collections list by calling 1.800.277.9172.

There are also big improvements in store for our Pipe Planner tool just around the corner.  We are excited to announce the launch of Pipe Planner 4.0 in 2021.   This new and improved Pipe Planner will be more user-friendly, with a variety of enhanced features and optimized for mobile platforms. No more carving out time to find a mouse and desktop to work up simple irrigation plans.  You can simply do it on the go.  Pipe Planner 4.0 will be available for Delta Plastics users in early Spring of 2021, so stay tuned!

Arkansas State Plant Board Update- December 11, 2020 By Brad Koen, ACPA Plant Board Representative

2020 continues to be a challenging year for all of us.  The Arkansas State Plant Board meeting schedule is no exception to this challenge.  The board met on Wednesday, December 2.  Under the current pandemic situation, we once again met virtually by way of Zoom.  As you can imagine the meeting was dominated by the dicamba discussion.

Just to catch everyone up, on October 27, the EPA announced the reregistration of three dicamba products for over-the-top use for cotton and soybeans. The registrations for Xtendimax, Engenia, and Tavium will be a 5-year registration starting in 2021. The registrants were able to answer the concerns that enabled the EPA to reregister the products.  With this approval there are some changes to the label that must be followed before it can be used legally:

  • Downwind buffer requirements of 240 feet and a buffer of 310 feet where listed species are located.
  • An approved pH-buffering agent to be mixed with OTT dicamba to lower volatility.
  • A nationwide cutoff date of June 30 for soybeans and July 30 for Cotton.
  • Use of hooded sprayer technology to reduce buffer requirements.
  • Ability of states to expand use to meet local needs by working with EPA.

The state Arkansas currently has a dicamba cutoff date of May 25, and it is illegal to mix glyphosate in the tank with the labeled dicamba products.  With the new approved pH buffering agents, the volatility of the glyphosate/dicamba tank mixes compares to that of the lower volatile formulations of dicamba.  At our plant board meeting, we heard presentations from BASF and from the University of Arkansas that showed promising results from the volatility reducing agents (VRA’s).  After much discussion there was a motion made to extend the cutoff date to June 15 and to allow the mixture of approved glyphosate and dicamba formulations.  The board was split on this vote, so the vote failed.   Another motion was made to keep the 2020 restriction in place but to follow the federal restrictions inside the Mississippi River levee (June 30 cutoff on soybeans and July 30 cutoff on cotton) by permit only.  This motion passed. Since the motion made changes to our current regulations, we are forced to give the public 30 days for comments.  The changes have been passed on to the Secretary of Ag and he will send it on to the Governor for approval.

I have also stayed active in the Southern Crop Production Association this year.  The pandemic kept us from making our trip to Washington D.C. this year to lobby for our industry.  The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) is critical to our industry’s efforts to bring products to market and is sound legislative policy. Using a risk-based approach to evaluate the registration of chemistries is critical to registrants and producers now and in future decisions. The state of Arkansas’ stance on dicamba offers up some challenges for our representatives when it comes to defending our industry.  These challenges will continue to get tougher as many groups are targeting the removal of all of our pesticides.

Plant Board Update by Brad Koen 11-7-2019

The Arkansas State Plant Board has had several meetings since our last newsletter update. As you can imagine, the majority of the meeting time has been focused on the use of dicamba in the state of Arkansas. After much discussion and debate, the board voted 14-1 to keep the May 26 cutoff date for dicamba in affect for 2020. They also voted to keep a 1-mile buffer around University and USDA research stations and certified organic crops. The rule proposal was then sent to the Governor’s office for approval. The Governor approved the rule proposal, and we are currently in the 30-day public comment period. There will be a public hearing on December 11 at the Embassy Suites in West Little Rock for the plant board to hear any comments from the public. The board will then vote whether or not to send the proposed rule to the state legislative committee for final approval.
A major concern has been enforcement and fining of those who are using dicamba after the cutoff date. The Arkansas State Plant Board issued a first fine for an egregious violation in October. A grower who applied dicamba past the cut-off date on two separate occasions was fined a total of $105,000. There are other hearings expected in the upcoming months. The intent of the larger fines is to hopefully deter the illegal applications.

Plant Board Update by Brad Koen 7-5-2019

We had our quarterly Arkansas State Plant Board meeting on June 11. After a year of service, Butch Calhoun has decided to step down as the director. Butch stated that he is retiring and planning on spending more time with his family. He thanked the plant board for giving him the opportunity to serve our industry. The board decided to vote Scott Bray in as his predecessor. A group of growers petitioned the board for an extension to apply dicamba for in-crop use until May 25. After much discussion, the board voted the petition down. As of the board meeting date, there had been 17 dicamba complaints filed in the state. Corteva sent a request to the board to consider allowing Blue-Tag Pioneer branded wheat varieties 26R41, 26R45, and 26R59 for the 2019 planting season. This request is due to the lack of certified seed due to wet weather during the 2018 planting season. The board voted to allow Corteva’s request. Mary Smith and Caleb Allen gave presentations on the Arkansas Industrial Hemp Program. This a very interesting program. The potential for growers in the state remains to be seen. The hemp growers in Arkansas are battling weather just like our traditional farmers. The weather stations that the state is currently using are outdated and need several repairs. The estimated cost to get the stations back in order would be around $700,000. Instead of repairing the old stations, the board decided to go with a subscription to DTN for access to their weather stations. This subscription would allow access to 50 stations and would also allow public access to those stations via the plant board website. The plant board will have private access to DTN’s network which consists of over 3,000 stations throughout the country. This subscription will improve our data for much less investment. The 7 year outlook to subscribe with DTN would be approximately $450,000.