EPA extends comment period for Monsanto’s new dicamba herbicide

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Roundup XtendThe Environmental Protection Agency has extended the comment period on a new dicamba formulation for use on soybeans and cotton genetically engineered to be tolerant to the herbicide. The deadline to comment is now May 31. The previous deadline was April 30.

In an announcement dated April 21, Dan Kenny, chief of EPA’s herbicide registration branch, said he was extending the deadline based on requests from commenters, who wanted additional time to review the extensive number of documents.

Monsanto Co. has developed a low-drift dicamba and glyphosate premix formulation it hopes to market under the brand name, Roundup Xtend with VaporGrip technology. A straight low-drift dicamba formulation that would allow users to choose a tankmix partner will be marketed as XtendiMax herbicide with VaporGrip technology.

The company proposes labeling that would allow pre-emergence and/or post-emergence use of dicamba on Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans and Bollgard II XtendFlex cotton. The two crops have been bred to be tolerant to dicamba as well as glyphosate. The cotton varieties also are tolerant to glufosinate.

The EPA already has deregulated Xtend soybeans and XtendFlex cotton in the United States. China recently approved importation of the varieties, although the European Union has not yet. Soybean and cotton varieties containing the technology are available for purchase this season from U.S. seed dealers. But dicamba of any formulation is not labeled for use on these varieties.

Currently, the EPA only allows pre-emerge use of dicamba in the United States. In Canada, over-the-top dicamba applications on soybeans already are permitted.

To comment or for more information on the dicamba proposal, including supporting documents, visit the EPA.

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