28 Oct EPA’s dicamba decision and stakeholder updates from BASF, Bayer and Syngenta
Kansas Agribusiness Retailers Association has learned EPA has announced its decision on approving new five-year registrations for two dicamba products and extending the registration of an additional dicamba product. The full EPA press release, as well as stakeholder responses from BASF, Bayer and Syngenta are below.
All three registrations include new control measures to ensure these products can be used effectively while protecting the environment, including non-target plants, animals, and other crops not tolerant to dicamba.
“With today’s decision, farmers now have the certainty they need to make plans for their 2021 growing season,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “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.”
Through today’s action, EPA approved new registrations for two “over-the-top” (OTT) 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 (DT) cotton and soybeans and will expire in 2025, providing certainty to American agriculture for the upcoming growing season and beyond.
To manage off-site movement of dicamba, EPA’s 2020 registration features important 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 growers and states. For example, there are opportunities for growers to reduce the downwind spray buffer for soybeans through use of certain approved hooded sprayers as an alternative control method. EPA also recognizes and supports the important authority FIFRA section 24 gives the 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.
This action was informed by input from state regulators, grower groups, academic researchers, pesticide manufacturers, and others. EPA reviewed substantial amounts of new information and conducted assessments based on the best available science, including making Effect Determinations under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). With this information and input, EPA has concluded that these registration actions meet Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) registration standards.
EPA believes that these new analyses address the concerns expressed in regard to EPA’s 2018 dicamba registrations in the June 2020 U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Further, EPA concluded that with the control measures now required on labels, these actions either do not affect or are not likely to adversely affect endangered or threatened species.
BASF announced today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved its registration of Engenia® herbicide for over the top application in dicamba-tolerant soybeans and cotton. The registration has an announced term of five years and includes new label enhancements to further reduce the potential for off-target movement. The new registration makes this critical tool available to farmers as they battle weed populations grown increasingly resistant to other herbicides.
“The need for Engenia herbicide is greater than ever before due to increased weed resistance. When the weeds win, farmers see the impact to their livelihoods, harvests and yields,” said Scott Kay, Vice President of U.S. Crop, BASF Agricultural Solutions. “Controlling resistant weeds is not only a physical challenge for farmers, it also can have a significant financial impact. It is estimated that certain resistant weed populations can reduce yields by 50 percent or more. This means that farmers planting dicamba-tolerant cotton and soybeans could potentially stand to lose more than $10 billion if they lost access to dicamba-based herbicides, like Engenia herbicide.”
“We welcome the EPA’s science-based review and registration decision providing growers access to this important tool,” said Lisa Safarian, President of Bayer Crop Science North America. “Growers need options, and we are proud of our role in bringing innovations like XtendiMax herbicide forward to help growers safely and successfully protect their crops from tough-to-control weeds.”
Bayer anticipates submitting the new product applications to the states sometime next week. In the meantime, here are a few highlights of the bigger changes under this new registration:
- Mandatory use of VaporGrip Xtra or other qualified Volatility Reduction Agents (VRA) with all applications to DT Crops
- Expanded buffer distances
- Optional relief from expanded buffer distances with the voluntary adoption of qualified hooded sprayer technology
- Calendar cut-off dates for applications–June 30 for Soybeans and July 30 for Cotton; and
- A streamlined label that has been reduced in size from over 40 pages to less than 20.
Syngenta announced today that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has extended the registration for Tavium® Plus VaporGrip® Technology herbicide in dicamba-tolerant soybeans and cotton. As the market’s first dicamba herbicide premix, Tavium contains built-in residual control to manage resistant weeds and maintain clean fields throughout the season. Tavium, a proprietary Syngenta premix, will be available for the 2021 growing season, subject to state approvals.
Tavium can be used preplant, at planting and early post-emergence on dicamba-tolerant soybeans and cotton. A combination of the contact control of dicamba and the residual control of S-metolachlor, Tavium offers growers a convenient premix to manage key ALS-, PPO- and glyphosate-resistant broadleaf and grass weeds.
“Following the unpredictable circumstances this year, growers will be closely looking at their dicamba herbicide options for 2021,” said Pete Eure, herbicide technical lead at Syngenta. “In its first full season in the field, Tavium delivered consistent weed control, crop safety and three weeks longer residual than dicamba alone across geographies in soybeans and cotton. It is the market’s first dicamba herbicide premix, and it remains a powerful and convenient choice for growers next year.”