Waiting For Dicamba’s Second Shoe to Drop

August 28, 2018 11:46 AM

The following commentary does not necessarily reflect the views of AgWeb or Farm Journal. The opinions expressed below are the author's own.

It’s a waiting game as EPA will announce dicamba’s future forward in the next month.

For review… in 2016, EPA registered the new dicamba formulations for over-the-top use (Engenia, FeXapan and Xtendimax). When the new products were registered, the EPA set the regulations to automatically expire in two years, which would allow the EPA to review and change the registration if necessary.

After the 2017 growing season, Monsanto, BASF and Corteva agreed to revised labels for the 2018 season. This included specific dicamba application training, which had more than 95,000 participants. In addition to the federal rules around applying dicamba, states also imposed additional restrictions on the products. For example, Arkansas, Minnesota, Missouri and North Dakota put specific cut off dates for dicamba application (the revised label restricts application past R2).

Throughout this year, EPA has been monitoring reports during the application season and it’s expected the agency will announce its decision for the future of these dicamba products by the end of September.

The number of acres planted with Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans doubled from 25 million acres in 2017 to 50 million acres in 2018.

According to Monsanto, the company has received 381 calls and has visited 299 of those farms with complaints as of July 12. As of July 15, Kevin Bradley at the University of Missouri assembled 605 dicamba-related injury investigations from state departments of agriculture.

The Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association received survey responses from more than 110 professional applicators about their experience with dicamba in 2018.  As of mid-August, the Illinois Department of Agriculture has received 319 misuse complaints attributed to dicamba symptoms (the total number of pesticide misuse complaints so far in 2018 totals 500, which is a historic high.) Those survey responses (in addition to their ongoing conversations with stakeholders) led to the IFCA sending four recommendations to the EPA for their consideration in weighing their decision for dicamba’s future.

So for now, we wait.


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Spell Check

Menlo Park, CA
8/28/2018 11:33 PM

  Natasha, don't worry a big boot (not a shoe) is about to land on top of Bayer (who now owns Monsanto), the producer and purveyor of Roundup and Roundup Dicamba. In early August a jury awarded a family of a deceased gentlemen $289 Million as a result of a finding that Roundup causes Non-Hodgkins lymphoma and other related cancers. The gentleman was a grounds keeper and used Roundup for years not knowing the danger to his health. Right now there are over 8,000 law suits filed against Monsanto and now Bayer (as Monsanto's successor) related to this product. If you think this is not real go on Google and google Roundup Lawsuits and see the number of adds by law firms soliciting clients to file suit relating the health issues from using this product. How long before Monsanto/Bayer call it a day and pay a couple billion dollars to settle claims and pull the stuff off the market. By the way, Monsanto/Bayer deny that the chemical has anything to do with cancer but the tobacco companies said the same thing for years. Farmers thinking ahead will be figuring out what to do to control weeds if the stuff goes away.

kerr lee
Scottsboro, AL
8/29/2018 09:41 AM

  It's as if the plan all along was to force the neighbors to use dicamba tolerant seed.

8/28/2018 05:33 PM

  I hope they put into effect a gradual ban, to ensure farmers already invested in these products don't lose their shirts, but that the surrounding farmers who do not and will not use these products will not either. I remember reading an article with one farmer buying dicamba resistant seeds, not because he wanted to, but because he had to in order to avoid the devastating losses. These products are just bad news, with possible mass damage to our native food supplies. Dicamba can remain in soil for a number of years. Extended and repeated use will only further exacerbate the current problems. These companies are putting a choke hold on producers disguised as a benefit. It's truly revolting and concerning.


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