XtendFlex Soybean field

BROOKLET, Ga. — U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced Oct. 27 that EPA is approving new five-year registrations for two dicamba products and extending the registration of an additional dicamba product.

EPA approved new registrations for two “over-the-top” 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 cotton and soybeans and will expire in 2025.

“After reviewing substantial amounts of new information, conducting scientific assessments based on the best available science, and carefully considering input from stakeholders we have reached a resolution that is good for our farmers and our environment,” EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said in a news release.

The American Soybean Association said in a news release, “The product is one of many tools integral to the success of soy growers who face different crop production challenges throughout a diverse growing region spanning 30-plus states.”

EPA’s 2020 registration features control measures, including:

  • 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.
  • Prohibiting OTT application of dicamba on soybeans after June 30 and cotton after July 30.
  • Simplifying the label and use directions so that growers can more easily determine when and how to properly apply dicamba.

The 2020 registration labels also provide new flexibilities — for example, use of certain approved hooded sprayers as an alternative control method. EPA also recognizes and supports the authority FIFRA section 24 gives states for issuing locally appropriate regulations for pesticide use.

“If a state wishes to expand the federal OTT uses of dicamba to better meet special local needs, the agency will work with them to support their goals,” the statement said.

In 2018, approximately 41% of U.S. soybean acreage was planted with dicamba-tolerant seed and almost 70% of U.S. cotton acreage was planted with DT seed in 2019, according to the EPA.

Following reports of damage resulting from the off-site movement of dicamba, EPA amended the dicamba registration labels in 2017 and in 2018. In June 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit vacated the registrations for three dicamba products: XtendiMax with VaporGrip Technology, Engenia Herbicide and DuPont FeXapan Herbicide. As a result of the Court’s decision, EPA issued cancellation orders outlining limited circumstances under which existing stocks of the three affected products could be distributed and used until July 31, 2020.