Courts Vacate Dicamba Registration Nationwide

A federal district court in Arizona vacated registration for over-the-top (OTT) applications of the herbicide dicamba on tolerant soybeans and cotton.

This stops the 2020 reapproval decision by the EPA, which the court determined violated the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act’s notice and public comment periods.

The decision applies nationally, vacating all registration for over-the-top dicamba applications. and includes products like Xtendimax (Bayer), Engenia (BASF) and Tavium (Syngenta).

In a statement Bayer says it respectfully disagrees with the ruling, "Our top priority is making sure growers have the approved products and support they need to safely and successfully grow their crops. We will keep our customers updated as we learn more from the EPA in advance of the 2024 growing season."

In a statement, BASF says, "Agricultural input supply chains, which are still recovering from 2020 disruptions, are complex and will be significantly affected by the unanticipated chemistry demands on more than 40 million dicamba-tolerant soybean and cotton acres directly impacted by this Order." Adding, "The EPA followed a science-based approach to evaluate and manage ecological risks and balance agricultural and societal benefits before granting the current Engenia herbicide registration."

In a statement Syngenta says it is disappointed, “We are reviewing our legal options and await the EPA’s guidance in connection with the court’s decision. The use of dicamba is integral to controlling broadleaf weeds and invasive plants. It is imperative that farmers have access to newer dicamba technologies as they work to protect their livelihoods, supply food, and meet ever-increasing weed control challenges in an environmentally safe and sound way.”

The Iowa Department of Agriculture says a significant number of farmers here will be impacted, it wants the EPA to issue an existing stock order immediately for this growing season.

The Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) says the timing of the decision will be extremely disruptive to ag retailers, distributors, manufacturers and farmers who all have already made 2024 planting decisions.

The ARA statement says, "People have different opinions about whether OTT dicamba should be registered and used. But surely we can agree that we’re all better off – including consumers and the environment – if these decisions are made by regulators with scientific expertise during the registration review process rather than by the federal courts or activist litigators which lack that expertise."

The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) released a statement strongly encouraging EPA to work to fast-track registration before the 2025 growing season saying, "NASDA is deeply concerned about the impacts on the 2024 growing season. NASDA strongly encourages EPA to immediately use all available discretion regarding existing stocks to ensure channels of trade are not disrupted."

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