U.S. cotton and soybean farmers will be allowed to use the new Xtendimax with Vapor Grip Technology formulation of dicamba to help control glyphosate and PPO-resistant weeds in their crops in 2017.
EPA announced it is registering the new formulation after months of administrative delays because it contains an additive that reduces volatility when the herbicide is sprayed on cotton and soybean crops genetically engineered to tolerate dicamba.
“This formulation is different from the products that are alleged to have been recently used illegally,” EPA officials said in a press release. “EPA continues to investigate these issues in several locations in the Midwest.” (For a Compliance Advisory on the complaints visit http://bit.ly/2elazh9.
(The Pesticide Program Update did not mention complaints in the Mid-South where a number of off-label applications in Arkansas, the Missouri Bootheel and west Tennessee led to crop injury reports, some severe, and two deaths resulting from altercations involving the spraying.)
EPA said the new Xtendimax label requires very specific and rigorous drift mitigation measures for farmers who use the product. Restrictions on the use of the product to further reduce the potential for exposure from spray drift include:
- No application from aircraft;
- No application when wind speed is over 15 mph;
- Application only with approved nozzles at specified pressures;
- And buffer zones to protect sensitive areas when the wind is blowing toward them.
“Weeds that are becoming increasingly resistant to glyphosate-based herbicides cause problems for farmers,” the EPA Pesticide Program Update said. “This registration will provide an additional tool to reduce the spread of glyphosate-resistant weeds.
“This final decision is designed to ensure that weed resistance is successfully managed, including reporting by the registrant to EPA of any suspected resistance, as well as remediation and grower education.”
EPA is placing time limits on the registration to allow the agency to either let it expire or to easily make the necessary changes in the registration if there are problems with resistant weeds or pesticide drift.
“Nevertheless, herbicide resistance is adequately addressed by the terms of the registration, and the agency does not expect off-site incidents to occur,” the press release said.
“The registration is time-limited and will automatically expire after two years to allow us to either let it expire or easily make necessary changes in the registration. If we grant an amendment to the registration at that point, it has a second automatic expiration date at five years from the original registration date to again allow the registration to expire or to make necessary changes.”
The label will also contain information on resistance management consistent with the Weed Science Society of America’s Best Management Practices for comprehensive resistance management approaches, EPA officials said.
Arkansas and other Mid-South states are considering additional restrictions on grower use of the product to prevent problems with drift, volatilization and crop injury that occurred in those states during the summer of 2016.
This dicamba formula for use on dicamba-tolerant soybean and cotton has been registered for sale and use in 34 states, including Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
EPA proposed this decision on March 31. EPA’s final regulatory decision and supporting documents, including a response to public comments, are available in docket number EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0187 at www.regulations.gov.
Monsanto says it is in a strong position to supply dicamba demand to support the Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System in soybeans and cotton. It projects more than 15 million Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybean acres and over 3 million acres of Bollgard II XtendFlex cotton in 2017.
“We’re excited to enable another piece of the Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System to farmers in 2017,” said Brett Begemann, Monsanto president and COO. “Based on the great demand we’ve seen in 2016, we know our farmers are looking forward to the benefits of the Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System, including in-crop use of dicamba and glyphosate. Growers have been asking for this industry leading technology for years, and we’re excited to be able to provide it in 2017.”
The Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System is intended to provide farmers with more consistent, flexible control of weeds, especially tough-to-manage and glyphosate-resistant weeds, and to help maximize crop yield potential. The system will include Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans, the industry’s first biotech product with tolerance to dicamba and glyphosate herbicides, and Bollgard II XtendFlex cotton, providing tolerance to three herbicides, dicamba, glyphosate and glufosinate.
Please visit RoundupReadyXtend.com to stay up to date on state registrations and the latest information on the Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System.
For more information on the application of dicamba on herbicide-resistant crops, visit http://bit.ly/2fEk1sh.