Field Notes from Koch Agronomic Services

EPA Announces Dicamba Registration Decision

Cindy Zimmerman

With a background of cotton ready for harvest, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced Tuesday the approval of new five-year registrations for two dicamba products and extending the registration of an additional dicamba product for use by cotton and soybean growers. All three registrations include new control measures to ensure these products can be used effectively while protecting the environment, including non-target plants, animals, and other crops not tolerant to dicamba.

“With today’s decision, farmers now have the certainty they need to make plans for their 2021 growing season,” said Wheeler. “After reviewing substantial amounts of new information, conducting scientific assessments based on the best available science, and carefully considering input from stakeholders we have reached a resolution that is good for our farmers and our environment.”

EPA approved new registrations for two “over-the-top” (OTT) dicamba products — XtendiMax with VaporGrip Technology and Engenia Herbicide — and extended the registration for an additional OTT dicamba product, Tavium Plus VaporGrip Technology. These registrations are only for use on dicamba-tolerant (DT) cotton and soybeans and will expire in 2025, providing certainty to American agriculture for the upcoming growing season and beyond.

Listen to the press call with reporters after the in-person announcement.
EPA press call on dicamba decision (16:58)

National Cotton Council Chairman Kent Fountain, a Georgia cotton producer and ginner, said they will be evaluating the label to ensure the herbicide can be effectively utilized in controlling weeds without undue restrictions.

“The economic damage that would result from not being able to use dicamba herbicides would be tremendous,” Fountain said. “We greatly appreciate EPA’s timely issuance of a new five-year label for this critical crop protection product for cotton producers.” Fountain noted that research conducted prior to availability of dicamba-tolerant varieties reported a minimum 50 percent yield-loss in fields with resistant pigweed.

Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) President and CEO Daren Coppock says the decision, based on a rigorous scientific approval process, provides certainty and clarity for the industry. “Ag retailers and their farmer customers have already been working to make decisions for the 2021 growing season while waiting for clarity on if dicamba would be available for use. Now farmers and their retailers can make firmer plans for the next five years with this critical question answered.”

American Soybean Association (ASA) president Bill Gordon of Minnesota said, “We rely in great part on EPA support for the continued success of our industry, from measures encouraging biodiesel market expansion to these types of decisions regarding safe and effective use of crop protection tools. We thank EPA today for the many steps and time invested in coming to this decision to re-register a product relied upon by many soy growers.”

Read the EPA release for details.

ARA, Audio, Cotton, Crop Protection, EPA, Soybean