The Environmental Protection Agency wants to work with state pesticide regulators on its review of dicamba herbicides as the registration deadline approaches for new formulations that have been the subject of thousands of drift damage complaints.

“We need to have certainty for our growers,” said Alexandra Dapolito Dunn, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, at the Association of American Pesticide Officials’ annual meeting in Alexandria, Va., this week. She called dicamba-tolerant seed and accompanying herbicides “a valuable tool for America’s farmers.”

Chad Rupe, USDA 10 But in a nod to the continuing issues with off-target drift from the new formulations, Dunn added, “We appreciate also some of the scientific questions that have persisted with dicamba use.”

On the all-important question of when EPA would make its decision, Dunn said, “We want to finish well before the Dec. 20 expiration date.” Rick Keigwin, head of EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs, echoed that sentiment, saying the agency’s goal is to reach a decision in time for growers to make informed planting decisions for 2021. Keigwin pledged to work with the state regulators “as well as academics, registrants, and others” as EPA evaluates how well growers in 2019 complied with new label restrictions placed on Bayer’s Xtendimax and BASF’s Engenia.

Source: AgriMarketing