Farmers, chemical dealers and applicators were surprised when word came out that the federal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled to vacate the federal registration of three dicamba products used for application over dicamba-tolerant soybeans: XtendiMax, Engenia and Fexapan. They were also left with immediate questions. Can they still spray the herbicides or not?
Dave Scott, pesticide regulator with the Office of the Indiana State Chemist, refers farmers and dealers alike to the OISC website, where OISC’s interpretation of the situation is posted. Simply put, until OISC receives more information, it’s business as usual for using these products in Indiana.
These products have state registration under Indiana law, and the registration stands until it is vacated, Scott explains. There is a process for initiating a change in the state regulation, but OISC has not initiated the process at this time.
Instead, OISC has asked for clarification from U.S. EPA. As of 11 a.m. EDT on June 5, OISC had not received a reply from EPA concerning this issue.
Scott acknowledges that OISC has plenty of questions of its own about various legal issues and regulations that might apply in this situation. However, until his office receives clarification, they don’t have cause to initiate the process to remove state registration for these products.
Scott notes, however, that this situation could change at any time. He urges farmers and dealers to check the OISC website for updates as often as is practical. As soon as any change in the official position of OISC occurs, it will be noted on the website.
He also reminds farmers that the cutoff date for applying dicamba herbicides over dicamba-tolerant soybeans is June 20 in Indiana.
Sources within the industry who have read the entire ruling issued by the federal court note that the justices acknowledged this would be an inconvenience for farmers and it was no fault of their own, but felt the supposed violation by EPA in issuing renewal of the registration in 2018 warranted taking action now.
In Indiana, however, until further notice, OISC has determined that the state registration for use is still valid. If that should change, you may want to refer to an article in the June 5 Purdue Pest and Crop Newsletter, which provides options for going after tough weeds if you can no longer apply these products.
One dicamba product, Tavium, is not affected by the ruling. However, it can only be applied through the V4 stage of growth on dicamba-tolerant soybeans.