In light of the recent court decision to vacate the registrations for Engenia, FeXapan and XtendiMax dicamba technologies, EPA issued a cancellation order for the products. While the immediate vacatur is in place, EPA has certain factors it can consider in regard to sale, distribution and use of existing stocks.
While EPA will allow for use and movement of the three dicamba products under very specific circumstances, it is substantially restricting what can be done with existing stocks. There are six factors EPA considers when limiting use for existing stocks, each of which play a role in how the agency determines appropriate use.
- Quantities of existing stocks at each level of the trade channel.
- EPA estimates there are approximately 4 million gallons of the three dicamba products in trade channels. This is a substantial quantity as this is the height of use time in the growing season.
- Risk associated with use of existing stocks.
- The cancellation order and subsequent orders related to use of existing stock now fall under the previous labeling requirements. If EPA had not issued this order, there would be no label requirements to follow, which could result in adverse effects on the environment.
- Benefits resulting from the use of existing stocks.
- EPA received numerous calls and emails concerning how essential these products are, especially with the growing season underway. Users will benefit from the weed-control properties on fields planted to dicamba-tolerant crops, and it will help reduce financial loss from previous investment in herbicides and potential weed damages.
- Financial expenditures users and others have already spent on existing stocks.
- This takes into account not only the herbicide that has already been purchased, but sunk costs like dicamba-tolerant seed, planting and other expenses. In addition, farmers in many areas have already planted or lost the opportunity to switch crops or herbicide systems.
- Risks and costs of disposal or alternative disposition of stocks.
- Disposal from farmers or other end users might not be feasible or advisable. For example, if a product has already been opened, transportation can create a spillage risk. In addition, disposal can be costly even in states where there are programs for free pesticide disposal, as the cost is just shifted to the state rather than users.
- Practicality of implementing restrictions on distribution, sale or use of existing stocks.
- Tracking existing stocks at the user level is burdensome and less accurate—so it’s hard to know what is out there. In addition, some farmers might not be willing to give up products they purchased for disposal or might not be aware of the cancellation and continue to use the product anyway. The cancellation order and provisions for existing stocks allows EPA to regulate ongoing use.
“EPA's decision regarding use of existing stocks of Xtendimax, Engenia, and FeXapan (and certain limited sales and distributions closely related to such use) takes into consideration the six factors identified in the 1991 existing stocks policy. Each of the six factors weighs heavily in support of allowing end users to use existing stocks of these dicamba products that are in their possession. But, to further reduce the potential for adverse effects, EPA is imposing a July 31, 2020 cut-off date for use of existing stocks,” the cancellation order states.
Read more about the recent dicamba Court mandate: