Dicamba: EPA Amends Labels to Add Cutoffs for Iowa, Minnesota – DTN

On March 15, EPA announced that it has approved federal label amendments that further restrict the use of over-the-top dicamba herbicides in Iowa and Minnesota.

For the 2022 season, the revised federal labels for XtendiMax, Engenia and Tavium, will contain the following prohibitions:

  • No spraying on dicamba-tolerant (DT) crops after June 20 in Iowa.
  • No spraying on DT crops after June 12 in Minnesota, south of Interstate 94.
  • No spraying on DT crops after June 30 in Minnesota, north of Interstate 94.
  • No spraying when the forecast high temperature exceeds 85 degrees Fahrenheit in Minnesota.

The agency’s decision to revise the federal label, in consultation with the dicamba registrants, for state-by-state needs, is an unusual one. It stems from EPA’s new policy of no longer permitting states to add further restrictions on a pesticide via Section 24(c) special local needs labels. Now states that want to further restrict dicamba must work through their own state rulemaking or — after today — work to create federal label amendments with EPA and the registrant. See more on this situation here.

“These restrictions are intended to reduce the likelihood of volatility and offsite movement of over-the-top dicamba by avoiding application on days with high temperatures,” EPA explained in a news release accompanying the decision.

“Among other requirements, the product registrants must add the amended labeling to their training and educational materials and disseminate this information to pesticide authorities and agricultural extension services to assist users in their local area. These label amendments demonstrate EPA’s ongoing commitment to help states address issues related to incidents in their jurisdictions.”

Both Iowa and Minnesota reported high numbers of off-target dicamba injury reports in 2021, the agency noted. The news release reiterated that EPA is uncertain that over-the-top dicamba use is sustainable, given continued allegations of off-target injury in the 2021 season.

“Given the incident information obtained from the 2021 growing season, EPA is reviewing whether over-the-top dicamba can be used in a manner that does not pose unreasonable risks to non-target crops and other plants, or to listed species and their designated critical habitats,” the agency wrote. “EPA is also evaluating all of its options for addressing future dicamba-related incidents.” See the news release here.

At least two other states will also have dicamba cutoff dates, via their own state rules, in 2022. Indiana regulators have designated all herbicides containing more than 6.5% dicamba as “highly volatile herbicides,” which allows the state to require applicators obtain a special permit to use them. These permits ban applications from June 21 to Aug. 31. See more here.

In Illinois, a state rule that started in 2021 remains in effect, banning applications of the three dicamba herbicides after June 20 and when the forecast high temperature for the day exceeds 85 degrees. See more here.

Looming behind all these rules for dicamba use in 2022 is a federal lawsuit pending in the U.S. District Court of Arizona, wherein environmental groups have asked EPA to vacate the 2020 dicamba registrations. See more here.

See the new label amendments for Iowa and Minnesota here.

Emily Unglesbee can be reached at Emily.unglesbee@dtn.com

Follow her on Twitter @Emily_Unglesbee

 
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