Monday, June 22, 2020

Federal appeals court says farmers may spray existing stores of dicamba, as EPA said they could

On Friday, a panel of judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit denied an emergency motion from environmental groups to force states to halt farmers' use of the herbicide dicamba and hold the Environmental Protection Agency in contempt. 

"The decision is an important win for the EPA, which obeyed the Ninth Circuit's June 3 order to vacate three dicamba registrations but allowed farmers and commercial applicators to continue applying 'existing stocks' of XtendiMax, Engenia and FeXapan through July 31," Emily Unglesbee reports for DTN/The Progressive Farmer. "That means EPA's existing-stocks provision still stands, and growers can continue using any stocks of those herbicides in their possession as of June 3, as long as they obey the former federal labels and any existing state regulations on dicamba use. Keep in mind that some states have already exceeded or are nearing dicamba cutoff dates."

The case centers around the EPA's reauthorization of dicamba in 2018, which expires in December. The court had ruled that the agency did not perform due diligence regarding the chemical's tendency to vaporize and drift to other fields, damaging crops that aren't genetically engineered to resist it. EPA will likely reauthorize dicamba again in December. 

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