Dicamba Decision Looms for EPA

DTN writer Pam Smith reported last week that, “Proof that dicamba remains a complex and emotional topic was evident at a recent public meeting with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

“Last week, EPA officials and a handful of other agency representatives traveled to farm country to gather views on whether the three low-volatility dicamba formulations available for use with Xtend crops should be re-registered.

“The conversation, attended by DTN, represented a cross-section of voices. Vocal were farmers who insist the technology is needed to control resistant weed populations, industry and those that have experienced injury in sensitive crops, trees and nursery settings.”

The DTN article noted that, “The deadline to make a decision regarding Engenia, XtendiMax and FeXapan herbicides looms for the agency. Dicamba is a 60-year-old herbicide with a known ability to volatilize and move beyond its spray target. Although the three products in question were reformulated to be lower in volatility, the EPA initially issued conditional labels, which expire in November and December, depending on the product.”

Last week’s article indicated that, “‘We made the registration decision and set it up so it had two-year time-limited registration so that we could evaluate it and see what additional changes to the registration are needed,’ said Mike Goodis, U.S. EPA director of the registration division.

Goodis confirmed that the agency plans to make a decision in August on the registrations, which DTN has previously reported. ‘We have been pretty open that we really want to make some type of decision this month on whether to continue, and if so, how the product would still be used,’ he said.

“‘It is an extremely difficult decision. I can tell you that the senior management in the EPA all the way up to the administrator — now acting administrator — will be involved in the decision making,’ he added.”

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