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Dicamba's regulatory roadblock - A 2025 use dilemma

Dicamba's regulatory roadblock - A 2025 use dilemma

By Jamie Martin

Dicamba, an herbicide crucial for managing resistant weeds in cotton and soybean farming, faces potential unavailability in 2025 following procedural disputes in its EPA registration process. The Arizona court decision in 2024 highlighted issues not with the herbicide's effectiveness or safety but with how its labels were reviewed and approved.

Brigit Rollins, a staff attorney at the National Agricultural Law Center, stated, "The proposed new label for XtendiMax includes a significant change—not allowing for over-the-top use on soybeans." This change is part of a broader EPA review that also includes an R170 registration for new food uses—expanding dicamba's application areas significantly but also prolonging its review timeline.

"The court said that the manufacturer needed to pursue a new-use registration," Rollins explained, emphasizing the strategic shift in registration to comply with legal standards. The current EPA review process for this new label could extend to 17 months, potentially delaying approval until the fall of 2025. This lengthy review process is compounded by public comment periods, which environmental groups hope to extend.

Despite these regulatory hurdles, existing stocks of dicamba products like XtendiMax can still be used in 2024, under strict adherence to previously approved labels. This temporary allowance provides some relief to farmers dependent on dicamba for weed management.

The ongoing legal and regulatory saga surrounding dicamba, deeply entwined with environmental law and agricultural necessity, continues to evolve. As the EPA and courts navigate these complex issues, the agricultural community remains on alert for final decisions that will impact their cropping strategies and pest management practices.

Photo Credit: gettyimages-fertnig

Categories: National

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