EPA approves dicamba formulation

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced they will register Monsanto’s Xtendimax™ with Vapor Grip™ Technology, a low volatility dicamba product to control weeds in soybean crops genetically engineered to tolerate dicamba. This compound will help in the effort to control glyphosate resistant weeds.

This product will now have to be approved by each states’ Department of Agriculture to receive the state label. While this should be a standard process, we have calls in to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA).

According to officials with MDA, they have not received a request from Monsanto Company to register this product for Minnesota at this time. However, they anticipate the request to come soon and believe they will have a decision by the end of 2016.

This form of dicamba will contain an additive to reduce volatility, making this formulation different from that alleged to have been used illegally (applied over soybeans) in 2016.

The new label will contain very specific and highly rigorous drift mitigation measures including: application with only approved nozzles at specific pressures, large buffer zones to protect sensitive areas and neighboring crops, wind speed limitations, and other requirements to mitigate damage from chemical and physical drift.

There will be a learning curve with this product. Dicamba, even a low volatility formula, will still be subject to physical and chemical drift. We will be updating you as we become more aware of upcoming issues with this, and similar, products.

Minnesota Soybean submitted letters to the EPA supporting registration of a similar product last spring. In addition, a press release went out cautioning growers to refrain from planting dicamba-tolerant soybeans as these soybean could have disrupted exports.

The EPA’s official statement and more information about dicamba are available here.

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