The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced farmers have until July 31 to use existing supplies of dicamba herbicides which were effectively banned by a federal appeals court last week.
EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said the cancellation order will provide clarity for farmers who were counting on dicamba for this year’s crops.
“At the height of the growing season, the court’s decision has threatened the livelihood of our nation’s farmers and the global food supply,” Wheeler said. “Today’s cancellation and existing stocks order is consistent with EPA’s standard practice following registration invalidation, and is designed to advance compliance, ensure regulatory certainty, and to prevent the misuse of existing stocks.”
The Alabama Farmers Federation’s Carla Hornady said the order provides immediate relief but does not address farmers’ long-term concerns.
“We appreciate EPA granting flexibility for farmers to utilize dicamba herbicides already purchased, but the court’s decision still leaves producers without effective control for some invasive plants such as pigweed,” said Hornady, who is commodity director for cotton, soybeans, wheat and feeds grains. “Farmers who have invested in dicamba-resistant crops as part of their conservation tillage practices are being forced to explore other options.”
Hornady said the Federation will continue to work with researchers, crop protection product manufacturers, elected officials and federal agencies to help farmers plan for the future.
According to EPA’s announcement, the order will “mitigate some of the devastating economic consequences of the court’s decision for growers, and particularly rural communities, at a time they are experiencing great stress due to the COVID-19 public health emergency.”
Details of the Order
EPA’s order addresses sale, distribution, and use of existing stocks of the three affected dicamba products – XtendiMax with vapor grip technology, Engenia, and FeXapan.
- Distribution or sale by any person is generally prohibited except for ensuring proper disposal or return to the registrant.
- Growers and commercial applicators may use existing stocks that were in their possession on June 3, 2020, the effective date of the Court decision. Such use must be consistent with the product’s previously-approved label, and may not continue after July 31, 2020.
On June 3, 2020, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an order vacating EPA’s pesticide registrations containing the active ingredient dicamba: Xtendimax with Vaporgrip Technology (EPA Reg. No. 524-617); Engenia – (EPA Reg. No. 7969-345); and FeXapan – (EPA Reg. No. 352-913).