Responding to Drift Damage

Dicamba and 2,4-D drift damage has captured national attention in recent years. Could your farm be at risk? And if so, will you be ready to respond to a drift incident? In this fact sheet, we look at recommended actions for documenting damage, along with tips for seeking remediation or behavior change. 

Download the printable pdf version.

Document Observations Quickly

If you believe your plants have been damaged by herbicide drift, it is critical to document your observations immediately, carefully, thoroughly, and repeatedly. Growers affected by drift damage have important decisions to make on how they will respond, but all of these options hinge on documenting damage and related observations. Read more or jump to a specific topic using the list below. 

Action Steps

Tips and considerations if you plan to:

This publication is a product of the North Central IPM Center working group on Herbicide-Drift Risk Management, with support from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture through agreement 2018-70006-28884. 

Reference to any commercial products or trade names implies no discrimination or endorsement by the North Central IPM Center or any of the contributing authors or their universities. Nor does this document constitute legal advice. Always seek legal advice from a professional who is knowledgeable in current agricultural law in your state.

Cassandra Brown, Horticulture and Crop Science, The Ohio State University
Stephen Meyers, Horticulture & Landscape Architecture, Purdue University
Mary Ann Rose, Pesticide Safety Education Program, The Ohio State University
Douglas Doohan, Horticulture and Crop Science, The Ohio State University

The following individuals reviewed part or all of this fact sheet: Bill Johnson, Purdue University; Cathy Herms, Maria Smith, Peggy Kirk Hall, The Ohio State University; Steve Smith, Red-Gold; Regin Wixon, South Dakota Agricultural Laboratories; Pat Farquhar, Sydney Ross, North Carolina Department of Agriculture; Pesticide Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Section staff, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation,; Minnesota Department of Agriculture Pesticide and Fertilizer Management Division.

Information Sources
Behrens R, Lueschen WE (1979) Dicamba volatility. Weed Sci. 27:5, 486-493.
Bish M, Bradley K (2017) Survey of Missouri pesticide applicator practices, knowledge, and perceptions. Weed Technol. 31:2:165-177, doi:10.1017/wet.2016.27
California Pesticide Use Enforcement Compendium Vol 5 Investigation Procedures. Chapter 3 Evidence Collection
Geary ND, Hatterman-Valenti H, Secor GA, Zollinger RK, Robinson AP (2019) Response of ‘Russet Burbank’ seed tubers containing dicamba and glyphosate. Weed Technol 33:1, 9–16. doi: 10.1017/wet.2018.91
Jones GT, Norsworthy JK, Barber T. (2018) Response of soybean offspring to a dicamba drift event the previous year. Weed Technology 33:1, 41-50.