Late Wednesday night, a U.S. appeals court rejected a federal regulator’s permit for dicamba herbicides, including Engenia, FeXapan and XtendiMax.
The court said EPA “substantially understated risks that it acknowledged” concerning dicamba’s use, Bloomberg reports. In addition, the court said EPA failed to recognize the “enormous social cost to farming communities.”
The ruling, made by a three-judge panel, applies to the current registration, which was set to run through Dec. 20, 2020.
“Today’s decision is a massive win for farmers and the environment,” said George Kimbrell of the Center for Food Safety, lead counsel in the case. “It is good to be reminded that corporations like Monsanto and the Trump Administration cannot escape the rule of law, particularly at a time of crisis like this. Their day of reckoning has arrived.”
For farmers who planted, or intended to plant, Xtend soybean products, there are a lot of questions regarding what this means for the 2020 season. At the very least, it could limit their weed control options. Check back as more information becomes available about farmer options and legal rights in terms of over-the-top dicamba.
In a statement provided to AgWeb, Bayer said: “We strongly disagree with the ruling and are assessing our options. If the ruling stands, we will work quickly to minimize any impact on our customers this season. Our top priority is making sure our customers have the support they need to have a successful season. Bayer stands fully behind our XtendiMax product. We will continue working with the EPA, growers, academics, and others to maintain long-term access to this important tool.”
In addition, Bayer sent a notice to growers that it is pausing all orders, shipment and applications of their dicamba product XtendiMax.
Corteva provided the following statement early Thursday morning: "Corteva is reviewing the court’s decision. We believe dicamba is an effective weed management tool for farmers that can be used safely when used according to the label."
BASF said the following: "The Order issued on June 3 by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit vacating the registration of Engenia® herbicide and two other products is unprecedented and has the potential to be devastating to tens of thousands of farmers... We are currently reviewing the Order and are waiting on further direction from the U.S. EPA on actions they will take as a result of this Order. We will use all legal remedies available to challenge this Order and we remain committed to serving our customers with safe and effective crop protection solutions, including Engenia herbicide."
Engenia is produced by BASF and FeXapan by Corteva. The only registration not mentioned is Syngenta’s Tavium dicamba product. We’ll update this story with statements from BASF and Corteva when available.
This ruling stems from a lawsuit against EPA and Monsanto (Bayer after acquisition). The lawsuit alleged EPA violated a variety of acts when it initially registered dicamba for over-the-top use.
“For the thousands of farmers whose fields were damaged or destroyed by dicamba drift despite our warnings, the National Family Farm Coalition is pleased with today’s ruling,” said National Family Farm Coalition president Jim Goodman, who is also a retired dairy farmer.
*Updated to include Corteva's statement 6/4/20 7:13 a.m.
*Updated to include BASF's statement 6/4/20 3:04 p.m.
Check out previous dicamba coverage here: