Market News & Headlines >> EPA to Approve Dicamba Registrations

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday announced that it will approve registration of three dicamba-based herbicides for spraying on dicamba-tolerant soybean and cotton varieties for the next five years. 

EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced the decision on RFD TV. "I will say right now, we are going to be able to re-register dicamba for the use in next year's growing season," Wheeler told the broadcaster. He said the agency would issue a five-year registration to “provide certainty” to growers. 

The registration of the herbicides starts next year and runs through 2025. The herbicides that will be approved include Bayer’s Xtendimax with VaporGrip Technology, BASF’s Engenia and Syngenta’s Tavium Plus VaporGrip Technology.

Dicamba-based herbicides have been controversial and the subject of numerous lawsuits as dicamba is known to drift away and damage other crops that are not resistant to it. In June, a federal appeals court ruling nullified the EPA’s approval of dicamba products, citing “fundamental flaws” in the EPA’s process of vetting the product’s risk of drifting.

The new registrations include label changes that will further restrict the use of “over-the-top” (OTT) dicamba applications compared to previous registrations, EPA said on its website. 

The new registrations prohibit the OTT application of dicamba on soybeans after June 30 and on cotton after July 30, and require that growers observe a downwind buffer of 240 feet and 310 feet in areas where listed species are located.

In addition, the EPA will now require that an approved pH-buffering agent (also called a Volatility Reduction Agent or VRA) be tank mixed with OTT dicamba products prior to all applications to control volatility and reduce dicamba drift.