The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Oct. 27 announced its decision to approve three dicamba herbicides for use over-the-top of dicamba-tolerant Xtend crops for five years.
EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said the agency had granted five-year registrations to two canceled dicamba herbicides – XtendiMax and Engenia – as well as a re-registered the dicamba herbicide, Tavium. All three now require a nationwide June 30 cutoff date for use on soybeans and a July 30 cutoff date for use on cotton, regardless of the crop’s growth stage. EPA also said it is limiting states’ ability to add further restrictions to the federal labels.
FeXapan – Corteva Agriscience’s marketed version of XtendiMax – is not registered yet. But the company has indicated it will be seeking to do so now that XtendiMax is registered.
Details of the new registrations include the following:
- The required downwind buffer was increased from 110 feet to 240 feet, as well as up to 310 feet in areas where endangered species are located.
- Applicators are required to use (and document their use of) available pH buffering agents to reduce the volatility of dicamba tank mixes.
- The use of hooded sprayers during application may reduce certain buffer requirements.
- Applications still will require the same wind speed, sprayer speed and time-of-day limitations as the 2018 labels.
- States no longer will be permitted to use Section 24(c) of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act to further restrict the federal label. Instead, they will be required to do so by utilizing Section 24(a) of FIFRA, which requires individual state regulatory or lawmaking processes. Section 24(c) only will be used for expansions of the federal label.
The full labels for the three herbicides are available here. A fourth dicamba over-the-top herbicide, FeXapan, was not included in this registration decision.
Wheeler stated that the new label changes are intended to rectify problems with the original 2018 registrations that were cited in a federal court’s June 3 opinion vacating the registrations of three dicamba herbicides – XtendiMax, Engenia and FeXapan. The court ruled that, in that original registration decision, EPA failed to consider adequately the herbicides’ risk of adverse effects to the environment, based on Xtend crop acreage, years of dicamba injury complaints and allegedly overly complex labels that led to noncompliance.