Tuesday, December 12, 2017

MDA Announces New Restrictions on Use of Dicamba Herbicide



St. Paul, MN: The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) today announced new restrictions on the use of the herbicide dicamba in Minnesota for the 2018 growing season. Dicamba is primarily used for controlling post-emergence broadleaf weeds. The new restrictions are in addition to those announced by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in October. The affected formulations are XtendiMax by Monsanto, Engenia by BASF, and FeXapan by DuPont. The decision follows the MDA’s ongoing investigation and an informal survey last summer into reports of crop damage from alleged dicamba off-target movement.   

In an effort to prevent dicamba-related complaints in 2018, Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson thoroughly reviewed the new EPA label restrictions, the MDA's survey results, peer reviewed literature, and sought extensive input from the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association Drift Task Force, University of Minnesota Extension weed scientists, and the pesticide manufacturers on the underlying causes of damage. Based on the review, the Commissioner set forth these additional protocols for dicamba use for the 2018 growing season:

Cutoff date:
Do not apply after June 20. Setting an application cutoff date of June 20 is expected to help reduce the potential for volatility (movement). The majority of Minnesota soybeans are still in the vegetative growth stage by June 20 and research has shown that plants in the vegetative stage are less affected than those in the reproductive stage.

Cutoff temperature:
Do not apply if the air temperature of the field, at the time of application, is over 85 degrees Fahrenheit or if the National Weather Service’s forecasted high temperature for the nearest available location for the day exceeds 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Research has shown that dicamba volatilization injury increased with an increase in temperatures.

“Dicamba is an important tool for soybean growers to manage weeds and I believe these additional restrictions will minimize the off-target movement,” Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson said. “I want to thank University of Minnesota Extension, and in particular Professor Jeff Gunsolus, for his research report on dicamba, and the Minnesota Soybean Growers for their input on this important issue. We will be closely monitoring the herbicide’s performance with these restrictions in 2018.”

In Minnesota, the XtendiMax, Engenia, and FeXapan formulations of dicamba are “Restricted Use Pesticides” for retail sale to and for use only by Certified Applicators.

Monday, December 11, 2017

MN Winter Load Increases in North Frost Zone



Winter Load Increases will begin on unrestricted highways in the NORTH FROST ZONE at 12:01 AM on Thursday, December 14, 2017.

Vehicles will be allowed to operate up to 10 percent over the standard legal maximum loads on unrestricted highways during the Winter Load Increase period.  However, trucks must comply with current registration weight laws and not exceed registered gross weight tolerances.  Please check with local agencies (cities, counties and townships) prior to increasing any weights on their routes. The sign erected on the roadway governs the load limit in effect.  A Winter Weight Increase Permit is required to take advantage of the 10 percent weight increase on Interstate Highways only; a permit is not required for state trunk highways.

For questions about enforcement call: Minnesota Department of Public Safety, State Patrol - Commercial Vehicle Enforcement, 651-405-6196 (select Option 3, Option 3).

For questions about over legal weight/size "heavy haul" trucking call: Minnesota Department of Transportation, Freight and Commercial Vehicle Operations - Oversize/Weight Permits, 651-296-6000 or email:  ofcvopermits.dot@state.mn.us

Winter Load Increases starting and ending dates are based on how weather is affecting roadway strength.  These dates are established by monitoring roadway strength as weather conditions change.  Therefore, the ending date for Winter Load Increases is variable and drivers MUST check for updates throughout the year. Vehicle operators are required to check with the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) for the exact start and end dates.

All changes are made with a minimum three calendar-day notice.

As soon as a date is set, MnDOT will report this date on its 24-hour automated message center at 1‑800‑723‑6543 for the USA and Canada, and locally at 651‑366‑5400 for the Minneapolis/St Paul area. This information is also published on the MnDOT Seasonal Load Limits website: www.mndot.gov/loadlimits

Thursday, November 30, 2017

MN Commerce Dept launches senior fraud prevention campaign



SAINT PAUL – The Minnesota Commerce Department is convening a series of free public forums to provide information for older Minnesotans and their family caregivers on how to protect themselves and their money from common scams and fraud.

Older adults are often targeted for financial exploitation. It is estimated that one out of every five persons over the age of 65 has been victimized by a financial swindle, with older Americans defrauded out of nearly $3 billion each year. The threat of senior financial fraud is expected to grow as the senior population itself grows.
To provide older Minnesotans and their loved ones with the knowledge and tools to stop fraud before it starts, the Commerce Department is working with law enforcement, social service agencies and groups such as AARP Minnesota, Minnesota Elder Justice Center and Senior LinkAge Line (Minnesota Board on Aging).

A free copy of the Commerce Department’s financial fraud prevention toolkit can be requested by email at consumer.protection@state.mn.us or by phone at 800-657-3602. It is also available on the Commerce Department website (mn.gov/commerce).

Senior Fraud Prevention Events
Monday, December 4, 11:00 a.m. Hennepin County Library-Edina 5280 Grandview Square, Edina

Tuesday, December 5, 9:30 a.m. Cora McCorvey Center: Heritage Park, 1015 N. 4th St., Minneapolis

Thursday, December 7, 12:30 p.m. Rochester Public Library, 101 2nd St. SE, Rochester

Friday, December 8, 11:00 a.m. Whitney Senior Center, 1527 Northway Dr., St. Cloud

Tuesday, December 12, 11:00 a.m. Duluth Public Library, 520 W. Superior, Duluth

Thursday, December 14, 2:00 p.m. Realife Cooperative of Phalen Village, 1355 Phalen Blvd., St Paul