Ag News

EPA issues existing stocks order for dicamba after court rulinig

Posted on Feb 16, 2024 at 8:14 AM

On Feb. 14, the EPA issued an existing stocks order for Dicamba products previously registered for over-the-top use on Dicamba-tolerant cotton and soybean crops. The order authorizes limited sale and distribution of dicamba products that are already in the possession of growers or in the channels of trade and outside the control of the pesticide companies.

Agricultural groups, including the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), expressed appreciation for the agency’s order, which gives a temporary reprieve to farmers who use dicamba to protect against weeds in their crops.

“We are grateful to EPA for hearing farmers’ and ranchers’ concerns and addressing them quickly to ensure we have access to the critical tools needed to protect our crops this season. Without EPA stepping in, farmers and ranchers across the country were facing uncertainty and financial risk,” AFBF President Zippy Duvall said in a prepared statement. “Farmers are committed to the safe use of all crop protection tools, and many had already made planting decisions with dicamba-tolerant crop systems in place for the season. We rely on science-based guidance from EPA, and we appreciate the agency standing by farmers and science in this decision today.”

The Georgia Cotton Commission (GCC), National Cotton Council (NCC) and American Soybean Association (ASA) also issued statements applauding the existing stocks order.

The EPA’s order came after a Feb. 6 ruling in the United States District Court for the District of Arizona vacated EPA registration for Dicamba products XtendiMax, Enginia and Tavium.  

Arizona District Court Judge David Bury ruled that the EPA did not follow “notice-and-comment” provisions of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) when the agency issued an unconditional registration for the products in 2020.

In the wake of the ruling, AFBF, the GCC, NCC and ASA all sent letters to the EPA requesting help for farmers, many of whom had already made key decisions for their 2024 crops, including purchasing decisions for crop protection products.

In the GCC letter, Chairman Bart Davis pointed out that those decisions often hinge on the availability of dicamba as a tool for weed control. Davis also noted that more than 17,000 Georgia growers have participated in “Using Pesticides Wisely,” a cooperative training effort by the Georgia Department of Agriculture and UGA Cooperative Extension Service. The science-based training is designed to reduce off-target movement of pesticides.

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