Farmers scramble to find herbicide alternatives after court overturns EPA dicamba weedkiller approval

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The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a decision [June 3] vacating the registrations of three dicamba herbicides, XtendiMax (Bayer), Engenia (BASF) and FeXapan (Corteva).

The ruling has enormous implications for farmers this summer, given that roughly 60 million acres of dicamba-tolerant cotton and soybeans were slated for 2020 planting, with the expectation that farmers could use dicamba over the top for weed control.

Much legal wrangling likely remains ahead, but the consequences for weed control this summer could be serious if the ruling stands, said University of Illinois weed scientist Aaron Hager.

“Given that there are many thousands, if not millions, of Xtend acres that have not been treated yet, if this label is fully vacated right now and there is no appeal and stay from the courts, farmers will have to scramble to come up with alternative solutions,” he said.

Related article:  Soybean damage caused by Bayer's drift-prone dicamba herbicide spurs farmers to use competing GMO seeds, weedkillers

When asked what this ruling means for legal use of dicamba in 2020, an EPA spokesperson could only tell DTN by email that “EPA is currently reviewing the court decision and will move promptly to address the Court’s directive.”

At least one dicamba registrant, Bayer, has vowed to fight the ruling ….

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