Updated with comments from ASA.
The EPA has developed changes regarding the use of dicamba during the 2018 growing season.
EPA has reached an agreement with Monsanto, BASF and DuPont on measures to minimize the potential for drift to damage neighboring crops from the use of dicamba formulations used to control weeds in genetically modified cotton and soybeans.
New requirements for the use of dicamba application to growing plants will allow farmers to make informed choices for seed purchases for the 2018 growing season.
"Today's actions are the result of intensive, collaborative efforts, working side by side with the states and university scientists from across the nation who have first-hand knowledge of the problem and workable solutions," said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. "Our collective efforts with our state partners ensure we are relying on the best, on-the-ground, information."
In a series of discussions, EPA worked with states, land-grant universities and the pesticide manufacturers to examine the underlying causes of recent crop damage in the Farm Belt and Southeast.
Manufacturers have voluntarily agreed to label changes that impose additional requirements for over the top use of these products next year including:
- Classifying products as "restricted use," permitting only certified applicators with special training, and those under their supervision, to apply them; dicamba-specific training for all certified applicators to reinforce proper use;
- Requiring farmers to maintain specific records regarding the use of these products to improve compliance with label restrictions;
- Limiting applications to when maximum wind speeds are below 10 mph to reduce potential spray drift;
- Reducing the times during the day when applications can occur;
- Including tank clean-out language to prevent cross contamination; and
- Enhancing susceptible crop language and record keeping with sensitive crop registries to increase awareness of risk to especially sensitive crops nearby.
Manufacturers have agreed to a process to get the revised labels into the hands of farmers in time for the 2018 use season. EPA will monitor the success of these changes to help inform our decision whether to allow the continued over the top use of dicamba beyond the 2018 growing season. When EPA registered these products, it set the registrations to expire in two years to allow EPA to change the registration, if necessary.
“Farmers look to new innovations like dicamba-tolerant soybeans to help grow healthy, affordable food while combating pests and diseases," said ASA President and Roseville, Illinois, farmer Ron Moore. "We’re encouraged by EPA’s label changes which we trust will allow farmers to continue to utilize this important tool while also working to protect and prevent damage to non-dicamba tolerant crops."
Source: EPA, ASA