EPA OKs XtendiMax dicamba herbicide

XtendiMaxThe Environmental Protection Agency has registered Monsanto’s XtendiMax dicamba herbicide for use on cotton and soybeans genetically engineered to tolerate the herbicide.

State registrations are pending.

The EPA registration is only for the XtendiMax formulation that contains Monsanto’s proprietary VaporGrip Technology — an additive to reduce volatility, according to an EPA news release. It is not for other dicamba formulations that do not contain the additive.

The label requires specific drift-mitigation measures, including:

• No application from aircraft;
• No application when the wind speed is over 15 mph;
• Do not tankmix;
• Maximum boom height of 24 inches;
• Application only with approved nozzles at specified pressures; and
• Within-field buffers that range from 110 to 220 feet, depending on application rate, when the wind is blowing toward sensitive areas.

The XtendiMax formulation only is registered for sale and use in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Each state agency responsible for pesticide registration also must approve XtendiMax before it can be used in that particular state. The Arkansas Plant Board, for example, plans to hold a hearing on XtendiMax as well as Enlist Duo with Colex-D technology, a low-drift premix of 2,4-D and glyphosate, on Nov. 21.

EPA has placed a 2-year time limit on the conditional XtendiMax registration to allow the agency to either let it expire or to easily make changes if problems with resistant weeds or pesticide drift arise. If the EPA grants an amendment at the end of that period, it will have a subsequent expiration of 5 years from the original date.

The EPA said in a statement that it believes herbicide resistance has been adequately addressed with the registration, and it does not expect off-site incidents to occur.

The EPA also continues to investigate the large number of illegal, off-label uses of dicamba and drift in the Midwest, including the Bootheel of Missouri and northeast Arkansas.

XtendiMax is part of the Monsanto’s Xtend cropping system, which includes Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans and Bollgard II XtendFlex cotton. The St. Louis-based company expects to sell about 15 million acres worth of Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybean seed and 3 million acres of Bollgard II XtendFlex cotton seed for the 2017 season.

Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans are resistant to both glyphosate and dicamba herbicides. Bollgard II XtendFlex cotton varieties are resistant to glyphosate, glufosinate and dicamba herbicides, and contain two Bacillus thuringiensis genes to control many larval pests.

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