EPA Issues Dicamba Registrations

Ben Rowe, National Affairs Coordinator

Back in June we reported on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision to  vacate the registrations of three dicamba herbicides—Bayer’s Xtendimax, BASF’s Engenia and Corteva’s FeXapan. This week we were pleased to hear from EPA that they are approving new five-year registrations for two “over-the-top” (OTT) dicamba products—XtendiMax with VaporGrip Technology and Engenia Herbicide—and extended the registration for an additional OTT dicamba product, Tavium Plus VaporGrip Technology. These registrations are only for use on dicamba-tolerant (DT) cotton and soybeans and will expire in 2025. Farmers who use dicamba faced unpredictability when the courts stepped-in earlier this year. Through this decision, the EPA has provided farmers much-needed certainty for the next five years, and we commend EPA for its science-backed decision to ensure dicamba remains on the market.

All three registrations include new control measures to ensure these products can be used effectively while protecting the environment, including non-target plants, animals, and other crops not tolerant to dicamba:

  • Requiring an approved pH-buffering agent (also called a Volatility Reduction Agent or VRA) be tank mixed with OTT dicamba products prior to all applications to control volatility;
  • Requiring a downwind buffer of 240 feet and 310 feet in areas where listed species are located
    • The registrations include flexibilities for the downwind spray buffer for soybeans if certain hooded sprayers are used as an alternative control method;
  • Prohibiting OTT application of dicamba on soybeans after June 30 and cotton after July 30; and
  • Simplifying the label and use directions so that growers can more easily determine when and how to properly apply dicamba.
  • EPA also noted that it will work with states who wish to use FIFRA section 24 to issue locally appropriate regulations for pesticide use.

This is particularly important news here in Virginia where farmers are working to meet Chesapeake Bay water quality goals. Dicamba is part of farmers’ sustainability strategy in that it supports no-till and conservation tillage practices, which reduce water use, retain nutrients in soil and lower emissions.

To view the final registration of the dicamba products, visit docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2020-0492 at www.regulations.gov

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