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Feb. 6, the U.S. District Court of Arizona decided that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency unlawfully approved dicamba for use on soybeans and cotton varieties designed with resistance to the herbicide. As it stands, the ruling prohibits the use of dicamba for weed control on American farms for the 2024 growing season.
In response to the court’s decision, American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall wrote a letter to EPA Administrator Michael Regan, emphasizing that the products vacated by this ruling, including XtendiMax, Engenia, and Tavium are critically important tools for farmers in mitigating resistant weeds.
“Many farmers have already made planting decisions to use dicamba-tolerant crop systems and have planned to use dicamba products in the very near future,” Duvall wrote. “These farmers invested substantial sums in the dicamba-resistant seeds in reliance on EPA’s prior approval of dicamba on these crops. Without these products, not only are these substantial investments at risk, but farmers do not know how they will protect their crops.”
Duvall stressed that it is imperative EPA expeditiously provide clarity to farmers and asked the agency to issue an existing stock order to ensure the product remains available to farmers throughout this growing season.
“In the existing stock order, EPA should ensure access to dicamba products that have already been purchased, as well as those that remain in the supply chain to be applied by custom applicators or farmers themselves later in accordance with the current EPA label,” Duvall wrote.
Duvall stressed AFBF does not condone off-label use of dicamba or any registered pesticide, and the organization’s farmer and rancher members are committed to the safe use of all crop protection tools. He added that responsible farmers that have invested in – and often taken loans out to purchase – dicamba-resistant products for the current growing season should not bear the financial burden caused by this legal dispute.
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