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What’s important for cotton growers to take from the EPA dicamba existing stock order?

Brad Haire, Executive Editor

February 22, 2024

3 Min Read
sprayer in cotton field

An Arizona federal court vacated the labels for XtendiMax, Engenia and Tavium earlier this month. A week later, the EPA issued an existing stocks order, meaning farmers can buy and use those dicamba products in 2024. It’s a reset back to the label for now, but cotton and soybean growers need to keep some things in mind as the 2024 planting season draws closer.

On Feb. 16, Farm Press met with Stanley Culpepper, University of Georgia Extension weed specialist, and asked him a few questions about dicamba’s latest regulatory seesaw movement.

FP: What’s important for growers to take from the EPA existing stock order? 

Culpepper: As of today (Feb. 16), they need to understand they can use existing XtendiMax, Tavium and Engenia stocks. They can even purchase those products if they are available at their retailer. Nationally, we are hearing that there is a significant amount of stock inventory. However, we are not seeing this in Georgia at the moment.

We are hoping more stocks will make it into the area.  It is also critical for Georgia growers planning to use in-crop dicamba to understand is that they must attend the Using Pesticides Wisely (UPW) training prior to applying these products.  For those in other states, they must attend the appropriate training as well.

Related:Cotton reacts to court’s dicamba decision

FP: Do you have recommendations concerning the labels?

Culpepper: For the 2024 season we are to follow the uses and restrictions provided by current labels. There are no changes from last year.  Downwind buffers, cut-off dates, boom height, Endangered Species Act restrictions, water volume and other requirements remain the same and will be reviewed during trainings.

FP: Even with dicamba back for 2024, what should growers keep in mind about weed control in 2024?

Culpepper: The key to successful weed control is always:

  1. Plant into fields free of weeds.

  2. Apply two residual herbicides at planting.

  3. Make timely sequential postemergence applications including residuals.

  4. Implement a layby application.

  5. Use deep tillage, secondary tillage and/or cover crops as part of the program.

  6. Hand pull pigweed escapes.

Now with that said, the unknown element is the volume of in-crop dicamba that each grower will have available. UGA Extension will be providing weed management programs for growers that have the full amount of dicamba, half the amount or none of the product during the UPW training.

Critically important is for applicators and growers to understand that they must apply these products on target and keep them there or our chance to get future labels will "drift" away!

FP: What about over purchasing or stockpiling dicamba in lieu of this decision?

Culpepper: I am not aware of this being an issue as there simply isn’t enough stocks available (in Georgia).

Additional information

For Southeast states, the deadline for sale and distribution of XtendiMax, Engenia and Tavium for soybean is May 31. The deadline for sale and distribution for the products for cotton is June 30. Application cutoff date for soybeans is June 30, and July 30 for cotton.

To find out about required pesticide trainings, contact your local Extension office or find training location online:

Read more about:

DicambaHigh CottonEPA

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