Market News & Headlines >> EPA Issues Existing Stocks Order for Dicamba Herbicides

In a move that will ease the impact of a recent federal judge’s decision vacating approvals of several dicamba-base herbicides, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday issued an order that allows people who had already purchased supplies of Bayer Xtendimax, BASF Engenia and Syngenta Tavium herbicides to use the existing stocks, so long as they follow the labels that were in place prior to the Feb. 6 court ruling.

U.S. District Court Judge David Bury in Arizona last week vacated the EPA’s registrations of those dicamba-based weedkillers from 2020, saying the agency violated procedures mandating public input. The ruling left many cotton and soybean growers facing uncertainty about their 2024 production prospects.

The American Soybean Association and other farm groups had called on EPA to issue the existing stocks order, saying it could impact more than 50 million acres of dicamba-tolerant soybeans and cotton. Dicamba-resistant soybeans produced by Bayer are the No. 2-most planted soybeans in the U.S., though not all are sprayed with the chemical.

The National Cotton Council said on Feb. 7 in a release on its website that it was “extremely disappointed” with the judge’s ruling and urged the EPA to immediately appeal the decision and explore “all available options to mitigate the economic damage” off the ruling. “The impact of this ruling will be felt across the Cotton Belt as dicamba-tolerant varieties account for more than 75% of U.S. acreage”, the NCC said, noting many producers had already made their cropping decisions bought seed and were preparing fields for planting.