EPA: New Limits on Dicamba for 2018

Associated Press writer Michael Biesecker reported late last week that, “The Trump administration has reached a deal with three major agribusiness companies for new voluntary labeling requirements for a controversial herbicide blamed for damaging crops.

“The Environmental Protection Agency announced Friday its agreement with Monsanto, BASF and DuPont regarding the application of dicamba, which is used to control weeds in fields of genetically modified cotton and soybeans. Farmers who don’t buy the special resistant seeds sold by the herbicide makers have complained that dicamba sprayed on neighboring properties drifts over and harms their crops, resulting in temporary bans issued last summer by state officials in Arkansas and Missouri.

“‘EPA carefully reviewed the available information and developed tangible changes to be implemented during the 2018 growing season,’ the agency said in a media release. ‘This is an example of cooperative federalism that leads to workable national-level solutions.'”

The AP article noted that, “Under the deal, dicamba products will be labeled as ‘restricted use‘ beginning with the 2018 growing season, requiring additional training and certifications for workers applying the product to crops. The new rules will also limit when and how the herbicide can be sprayed, such as time of day and when maximum winds are blowing below 10 mph. Farmers will be required to maintain specific records showing their compliance with the new restrictions.”

Mr. Biesecker added that, “The EPA said the labels could be revised again in two years, when the current federal registration allowing dicamba to be sold in the United States is up for review.

“Monsanto said Friday that it had proposed the voluntary label changes, which were accepted by the EPA.”
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