Ag Policy Blog

Farm Bureau to EPA: Make a Decision on Dicamba

Chris Clayton
By  Chris Clayton , DTN Ag Policy Editor
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Several groups began writing EPA last week asking for guidance on the Ninth Circuit ruling on dicamba herbicides. The American Farm Bureau Federation says EPA should allow farmers to continue using the herbicides this year. (DTN file photo by Pamela Smith)

The American Farm Bureau Federation on Monday called on EPA to allow farmers who have already bought dicamba products to be allowed to use those existing stocks this crop season.

In yet another letter to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, AFBF President Zippy Duvall said he was concerned about the impacts of last week's Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision to vacate the registrations for the herbicides Engenia, FeXapan and XtendiMax. "These product are critically important tools for farmers in mitigating resistant weeds."

As DTN's Emily Unglesbee updated Monday, "Confusion reigns about the legality of dicamba this week, as states have scrambled to issue individual interpretations of a federal court's stunning decision to vacate three dicamba registrations on June 3, in the middle of the spray season."

At least three states -- Illinois, Minnesota and South Dakota -- have banned the use of the dicamba products.

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ADDITION: Yet, even as we post these decisions by states, it's hard to keep pace. Minnesota officials announced Monday they had changed their decision and the state would continue to operating under the existing pesticide rules, though that could change depending on guidance from EPA.

Farm Bureau pointed out in its letter to Wheeler that farmers had already made planting decisions to use dicamba products and planned to use the herbicide in the near future. "These farmers invested substantial sums in the dicamba-resistant seeds in reliance on EPA's approval of dicamba on these crops." Farmers risk losing their investments and will be faced with not knowing how they will protect their crops," AFBF stated.

AFBF added, "It is imperative EPA provide clarity to farmers expeditiously."

EPA should also issue an order to ensure the product remains available to farmers throughout this growing season, AFBF stated. The order should also products that have been purchased or "remain in the supply chain" to be applied according to the current EPA labels.

Chris Clayton can be reached at Chris.Clayton@dtn.com

Follow him on Twitter @ChrisClaytonDTN

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