EPA extends over-the-top dicamba use for 2 years with added rules

EPA logoThe Environmental Protection Agency has extended the registration of specific dicamba formulations for over-the-top use in dicamba-tolerant cotton and soybean varieties for two more years.

The action was based on input from and extensive collaboration among EPA, state regulators, farmers, academic researchers, pesticide manufacturers and other stakeholders, according to an EPA news release.

“EPA understands that dicamba is a valuable pest control tool for America’s farmers,” says EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “By extending the registration for another two years with important new label updates that place additional restrictions on the product, we are providing certainty to all stakeholders for the upcoming growing season.”

The conditional registration will expire Dec. 20, 2020.

In light of the EPA’s announcement, the Arkansas State Plant Board has called a special meeting, Nov. 5, to review a draft rule to allow limited use of dicamba on dicamba-tolerant crops through June 15.

The EPA made the following label changes to ensure that these products can continue to be used effectively while addressing potential concerns to surrounding crops and plants:

Among the requirements to use the dicamba-based herbicides, which include ExtendiMax from Bayer, Engenia from BASF and FeXipan from Corteva, are:

• 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 four to two (soybeans remain at two over-the-top applications)

• Applications will be allowed only from one hour after sunrise to two 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’s on the potential volatility of dicamba

• Label clean up and consistency to improve compliance and enforceability

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