On June 3, a three judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling vacating the FIFRA registrations of Dicamba. The decision by the 9th circuit court of appeals specifically affects 3 low-volatility dicamba herbicides, XtendiMax (Bayer), Engenia (BASF) and FeXapan (Corteva) that are used for broad acre agricultural applications. All other dicamba product registrations are unaffected; no dicamba products used in turfgrass are affected. Grass for seed production is on the XtendiMax & FeXapan labels, and grasses are on the general Engenia label; however, managed turfgrass should not fall under either use. EPA is expected to react to this decision that questions the validity of the FIFRA process.
On June 8, EPA offered clarity to farmers regarding the future use of dicamba. EPA issued a cancellation order which outlined limited and specific circumstances under which existing stocks of the three affected dicamba products can be used for a limited period of time.
EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said: “At the height of the growing season, the Court’s decision has threatened the livelihood of our nation’s farmers and the global food supply. Today’s cancellation and existing stocks order is consistent with EPA’s standard practice following registration invalidation, and is designed to advance compliance, ensure regulatory certainty, and to prevent the misuse of existing stocks.”
Details of the cancellation order include:
- Distribution or sale by any person is generally prohibited except for ensuring proper disposal or return to the registrant.
- Growers and commercial applicators may use existing stocks that were in their possession on June 3, 2020, the effective date of the Court decision. Such use must be consistent with the product’s previously-approved label, and may not continue after July 31, 2020.
Dicamba is an important tool for golf course management. Dicamba is also a valuable pest control tool that farmers nationwide planned to use during the 2020 growing season. Since the Court issued its opinion, the agency has said it has been overwhelmed with letters and calls from farmers citing the devastation of this decision on the millions of acres of crops, millions of dollars already invested by farmers, and threat to America’s food supply.