Dicamba drift is in the news again, this time with a detailed story in Reuters about a strong, unusual statement by two large seed companies that urges the EPA to end post-emergent use of dicamba.
Beck’s Hybrids alone sold over a million bags of Xtend soybean seed last year, but still has come out publicly against the continued use of the new dicamba formulations in post-emergence applications on Extend soybeans (Polansek, 2018).
In a letter published as part of this EcoWatch story, Beck’s Hybrids executives (and members of the Beck family) cite the “harm dicamba has caused to other farmers and the non-farm environment” as the reason for their comments to the EPA.
The agency is currently considering whether to renew conditional registrations for the new dicamba formulations granted in 2016 that expire this year. The EPA has announced its intention to reach its decision no later than September 2018, so that farmers can plan their seed purchases.
But since the dicamba-resistance gene has been moved into 80% or more of both the soybean and cotton seed supplies for 2019, the EPA is likely to allow continued use for at least one more year, with additional restrictions intended to protect nearby, sensitive crops.
Lorraine Chow, “Top Seed Companies Urge EPA to Limit Dicamba,” EcoWatch, August 17, 2018.
Tom Polansek, “U.S. seed sellers push for limits on Monsanto, BASF weed killer,” Reuters, August 16, 2018.