Spray Dicambia Soon May Be Illegal Any Minute?
I did not see it until this morning but last night a United States appeals court "rejected federal regulator's permit for dicambia herbicides." That would include the herbicides Engenia, FeXapan and XtendiMax would no longer have a label for application on Xtend soybeans. The current EPA registration was set to expire December 20, 2020. The court ruled that the "EPA substantially understated risks that it acknowledged." with dicambia use. The three judge panel also said the EPA did not recognize the "enormous social cost to farming communities."
What does this mean for farmers that have one of those dicambia herbicides in their shed ready to be sprayed any day? Is it still legal to apply them? The first story I read on Ag Web had the following update this morning at 9:11 from the Ag Retailers Association. "While the decision has been recorded, we have been advised that until the court issues a mandate to enforce the order, the label remains effective and the product is legal to use. However, that mandate could be issued forthwith according to the court."
I would assume that means apply your Engenia, FeXapan or XtendiMax herbicides as soon as possible on your Xtend soybeans? The way I understand the comment from the Ag Retailers Association it could be illegal any minute. I called the Minnesota Department of Agriculture this morning, a number of agronomists and retailers and have not gotten a call back. I think they are all scrambling trying to figure out what this means.
It is ironic that farmers were going to apply dicambia very soon anyway. The label in Minnesota has a cut-off application date of June 20 or 45 days after planting whichever is sooner. With a lot of beans planted by May 1 the 45 day requirement is approaching. Remember you still must follow label directions about wind speed and direction, predicted high temperature, time of day and all other restrictions. Always read and follow label directions!