Ag News

EPA announces changes to dicamba registration

On Oct. 31, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it is extending the registration of dicamba for two years for “over-the-top” use (application to growing plants) to control weeds in fields for cotton and soybean plants genetically engineered to resist dicamba. According to an EPA release, this action was made after extensive collaboration between EPA, state regulators, farmers, academic researchers, pesticide manufacturers, and other stakeholders.

The following label changes were made to ensure dicamba products can continue to be used effectively while addressing potential concerns to surrounding crops and plants:

• Two-year registration (until Dec. 20, 2020);

• Only certified applicators may apply dicamba over the top (those working under the supervision of a certified applicator may no longer make applications);

• Prohibit over-the-top application of dicamba on soybeans 45 days after planting and cotton 60 days after planting;

• For cotton, limit the number of over-the-top applications from 4 to 2 (soybeans remain at 2 OTT applications);

• Applications will be allowed only from 1 hour after sunrise to 2 hours before sunset;

• In counties where endangered species may exist, the downwind buffer will remain at 110 feet and there will be a new 57-foot buffer around the other sides of the field (the 110-foot downwind buffer applies to all applications, not just in counties where endangered species may exist);

• Clarify training period for 2019 and beyond, ensuring consistency across all three products;

• Enhanced tank clean-out instructions for the entire system;

• Enhanced label to improve applicator awareness on the impact of low pH on the potential volatility of dicamba;

• Label clean-up and consistency to improve compliance and enforceability.

The registration for all dicamba products will automatically expire on Dec. 20, 2020, unless EPA further extends it.

EPA has reviewed substantial amounts of new information and concluded that the continued registration of these dicamba products meets FIFRA’s registration standards. The Agency has also determined that extending these registrations with the new safety measures will not affect endangered species.

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