States’ decisions on dicamba premature
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Over the last couple weeks, both Missouri and Arkansas state governments have taken action to temporarily stop all uses and sale of dicamba herbicide following reports of drift incidents in both states.
Dicamba is used across the U.S. to treat dicamba-tolerant soybean and cotton varieties, as well as other crops. Dicamba has been used for decades on numerous crops across millions of acres. Recently, soybean and cotton varieties have been developed to tolerate the use of dicamba. However, only certain dicamba formulations can be used on these tolerant crops.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates and registers all pesticides after years of diligent and thorough testing, and dicamba is no exception. It is crucial to remember that states must enforce the proper use of these products according to the EPA-mandated label instructions for each formulation and each crop.
“Although we understand the concerns raised by growers in Missouri and Arkansas, we encourage both states to wait until they have thoroughly investigated all of the claims before they make policy decisions to temporarily prohibit the use and sale of dicamba. It is important to understand the need for this weed-control technology and we cannot stress enough how vital it is to use this, and all crop protection tools according to label, while employing good stewardship practices,” said Jay Vroom, president and CEO of CropLife America. “Millions of acres have been treated using weed control trait/herbicide systems successfully without problem, which is an important factor to consider when making policy decisions.”
“It would be unfortunate to remove such a vital tool from farmers’ use without having all of the information to support that decision. Though most farmers practice good stewardship and regulatory compliance, it is clear that the action of a few is threatening the sound practices of many. Weed control is a vital farm management activity, and with the vast majority of farmers in compliance and making a significant investment in the trait technologies already planted and growing this year, the importance of these regulatory decisions cannot be overstated,” Vroom noted. “In addition to prohibiting dicamba use on traited crops, the state actions also prohibit other legal uses of the herbicide — further punishing farmers who have done and will do the right thing.”
Vroom continued, “We implore the states to use all measures to enforce the responsible use of this and all other agricultural inputs. Weed resistance is always a critical issue, and with the crop and farm income pressures currently facing farmers, it’s never been more important to ensure that they have all the tools available to deploy in the battle to manage resistance.”
“CLA is committed to working with regulators in all states and the EPA to address ongoing concerns, resolve these important stewardship and compliance matters, and ensure that all farmers have access to these important tools,” Vroom concluded.
There are ongoing training opportunities available regarding the use of dicamba in accordance with its label.
Applicators can find more information about training by visiting BASF’s Grow Smart University website, DuPont’s training module website and Monsanto’s training website.
For more details on stewardship and compliance training, please contact CropLife America at 202-296-1585.