Federal court backs EPA order allowing farmers to use banned dicamba weedkillers until July 31

| | June 23, 2020
farmer spraying crops can be used for dicamba articles
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EPA has defended its decision to allow farmers to continue to use three vacated dicamba herbicides — XtendiMax, FeXapan and Engenia — through the end of July. EPA argued that vacating the registrations does not technically affect the use of the now-unregistered herbicides. “Rescission of a pesticide registration (either by judicial or administrative action) only makes it illegal to distribute or sell that pesticide,” EPA said. “It does not outlaw use of products already legally purchased.”

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit denied a petition that sought to invalidate the Environmental Protection Agency’s cancellation and existing stocks order issued June 8. Congress has provided the certainty growers need in critical times – like planting season right now – by equipping EPA with the “existing stocks” authority it exercised in its June 3 guidance to growers.

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An estimated 64 million acres of dicamba-tolerant seed is already in the ground — importantly, with no viable weed control alternative that can realistically be deployed over the next several weeks. Expected yield loss for soybeans and cotton is as high as 50%, with respective losses estimated at as much as $10 billion and $800 million, the grower groups noted in a release in announcing their joint filing of a request for the amicus brief.

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