Ruling allows farmers to use existing stock of dicamba herbicides

Soybean farmers across Nebraska and the Midwestbreathed a collective sigh of relief when they learned they would be able to use their existing stocks of dicamba-based herbicides to control weeds in their dicamba-resistant soybeans crop this year.
In early June, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the EPA, ending the labeled use of three dicamba-based herbicides—Xtendimax, Engenia and FeXapan.
One of the issues with those herbicides is “dicamba drift,” when the chemical spreads to fields that don’t have dicamba-resistant crops and damages crops.
While the court’s ruling vacated the registration label use of the three herbicides used extensively by farmers on dicamba-resistant soybeans, EPA announced producers could still apply their existing stock of product until July 31.
Many Nebraska farmers made the seed and herbicide purchases last fall when the formal registration for the chemicals were still valid.
The Center for Food Safety and the Center for Biological Diversity, which filed the original suit, filed an emergency motion June 11, requesting the court enforce its earlier decision and find EPA in contempt of court.
In a ruling late last week, the court did not grant the emergency motion.
“We are extremely concerned about farmers losing access to these dicamba products in the middle of the growing season,” Nebraska Farm Bureau President Steve Nelson said last week.
After the court denied the emergency motion, Nelson said, “This is positive news, particularly for soybean farmers who fully expected to have the ability to use them for weed control this growing season.”

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