EPA grants five-year re-registration for dicamba in dicamba-tolerant crops
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved dicamba formulations applied to dicamba-tolerant soybeans and dicamba-tolerant cotton for the 2021 through the 2025 growing season.
“This decision includes a five-year registration to provide certainty for growers as they make future purchasing decisions,” said Andrew Wheeler, EPA administrator at an EPA press conference this afternoon. EPA officials said the dicamba formulations covered include Bayer’s XtendiMax, BASF’s Engenia, and Syngenta’s Tavium.
“Our career staff reviewed significant amounts of new scientific information and carefully considered input from stakeholder groups,” says Wheeler. He adds that EPA has determined that these registration actions will address the concerns outlined in the June (2020) Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision.”
Key changes include:
* A national cutoff date of June 30 on soybeans and July 30 for cotton for all over-the-top uses of dicamba.
* Mandated use of a pH buffering agent to be mixed prior to all dicamba products being applied. EPA officials say addition of these agents will lower volatility that makes dicamba prone to off-target movement.
* Increased the required downwind buffer from 110 feet to 240 feet, with an increased buffer of 310 feet in counties where endangered species exist.
“If the state wishes to expand over-the-top use of dicamba to better meet local needs, the agency will work with them to support their goals,” says Wheeler.
Consequently, states that want to restrict the federal label must also first work with EPA. Some states, such as Minnesota, have had a June 20 cutoff date in past years. States with request such as this will need to first need to work with EPA under this registration, say EPA officials.
Under FIFRA (Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, there is a specific process under its Section 24 (a) for states that wish to restrict the federal label, says Alex Dunn, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. Conversely, FIFRA’s Section 24 (c) provides a specific process for states to expand the federal label .
“As noted by the administrator, we will be willing to work with all states with their specific circumstances, following the provisions of the law,” she says.