The Ninth Circuit Court is expected to release its ruling at any time in the ongoing debate around dicamba and the future of the product. Will they will side with the Environmental Protection Agency to use existing stocks of dicamba products per the cancellation order? Otherwise, the court could rule in favor to ceased applications of existing stocks of Engenia, FeXapan and XtendiMax altogether for this year.
Indiana farmers are able to spray if they had dicamba formulations in their possession on or before June 3. Regardless of the court’s decision, the state’s farmers have a cut-off date to spray those products of June 20. It’s earlier than last year and earlier than many other states throughout the Corn Belt.
It’s a key time for the Rodibaugh brothers located in Jasper County, Indiana.
“[We] got a good crop going, good prospects,” says Dave Rodibaugh. “Right now, we’re looking for some rain.”
Dave is side-dressing corn in one field as John sprays in another.
“I’ve been spraying dicamba tolerant beans the last few days,” says John Rodibaugh. “We are trying to finish up on that.”
John had roughly 30 acres left when we met him and is now done. He completed just ahead of the June application cutoff date. It’s an earlier date than 2019.
“We weren’t really pressed [this year],” says Dave. “We would have been spraying if the weather would have allowed.”
Meanwhile farmers across the country are looking for clarity on dicamba following the Ninth Circuit Court’s original ruling that came during a time when farmers need to spray.
“It goes to the unfairness in terms of [how] we’ve planned our crop and selected our seed based on the herbicide system and counting on that herbicide,” says Dave.
They chose the dicamba system for weed control as they say resistant weeds are becoming more prevalent in the county.
“I don’t look forward to having to fight weeds with some other chemicals that may not be as effective as dicamba has been for us,” says John.
Dave ordered another product right after the court’s ruling initially not knowing if he could continue to use dicamba formulations he already had in his possession. Turns out, he didn’t have to use the other product.
The two recognize there are different views on the technology. However, they say they've had talks with their neighbors. They even made a significant investment for a direct injection system in the sprayer.
For now, they're waiting on the fate of these products, especially for next year.