Ninth Circuit Vacates Three Dicamba Registrations

DTN writer Emily Unglesbee reported yesterday that, “The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a decision Wednesday vacating the registrations of three dicamba herbicides, XtendiMax (Bayer), Engenia (BASF) and FeXapan (Corteva). The ruling does not appear to include Syngenta’s Tavium dicamba herbicide.

The ruling has enormous implications for farmers this summer, given that roughly 60 million acres of dicamba-tolerant cotton and soybeans were slated for 2020 planting, with the expectation that farmers could use dicamba over the top for weed control.

“Much legal wrangling likely remains ahead, but the consequences for weed control this summer could be serious if the ruling stands, said University of Illinois weed scientist Aaron Hager.”

The DTN article stated that, “‘Given that there are many thousands, if not millions, of Xtend acres that have not been treated yet, if this label is fully vacated right now and there is no appeal and stay from the courts, farmers will have to scramble to come up with alternative solutions,’ he said.

“When asked what this ruling means for legal use of dicamba in 2020, an EPA spokesperson could only tell DTN by email that ‘EPA is currently reviewing the court decision and will move promptly to address the Court’s directive.’

“At least one dicamba registrant, Bayer, has vowed to fight the ruling and try to mute its effect on farmers this growing season.”

Ms. Unglesbee indicated that, “The Ninth Circuit’s ruling came from a lawsuit brought against EPA and Monsanto (now Bayer) in 2017 by a coalition of farming and environmental groups, namely, the National Family Farm Coalition, the Center for Food Safety, the Center for Biological Diversity and the Pesticide Action Network. The lawsuit alleged that EPA violated both the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), as well as the Endangered Species Act (ESA) when it first registered dicamba for use on dicamba-tolerant crops in 2017.”

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