US soybean, cotton farmers sue EPA to relax two ‘extreme’ restrictions on drift-prone dicamba weedkiller

Soybean damage by dicamba drift. Credit: Reuters
Soybean damage by dicamba drift. Credit: Reuters

Bill Gordon, who farms in southwest Minnesota, tells Brownfield [that the American Soybean Association] and the Plains Cotton Growers are suing the [EPA] because the new [dicamba] buffer requirements are too extreme and the cutoff date of June 30th is too early for southern farmers who double-crop soybeans.

“We’re not challenging anything for application. The only thing we’re challenging is the date and the buffer. So nothing is really going to affect a grower who purchases (dicamba) or is planning to use it next year.”

He says regulators do not need to go back to the drawing board on dicamba.

“We want to make sure that this product is used, but there are a couple of things we need to be fixed on the label. So we’re asking EPA to take those two items back in-house, do a little more (science-based) research on it, and then change the label a little bit.”

Shawn Wade with Plains Cotton Growers tells Brownfield they are concerned about the July 30th cutoff date and growers being unable to access dicamba when they need it most.

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Gordon says he’s unsure if states will attempt to circumvent the federal label and institute a patchwork of buffer and cutoff regulations.

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