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.

Renewable Fuel Standard

Final RFS Volumes Provide a Step in the Right Direction

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its final Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) volumes for the coming years that includes additional growth in the biodiesel category from what was proposed earlier this year.

Read more

corn ethanol

Biofuel Support Needed as Ethanol Mandate Under Fire

Corn ethanol has come under attack in recent weeks, with petroleum groups and environmental groups questioning its environmental benefits and its place within the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

The Minnesota Soybean Growers Association (MSGA) supports the use of biofuels and the RFS, which positively impacts biodiesel.

Recently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s internal watchdog announced it will launch a project to determine if the agency considered legally mandated studies and complied with reporting requirements while putting its RFS program into effect. Read more

EPA says neonicotoid treatment on soybeans lacks benefits

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently released an analysis of the benefits of neonicotinoid seed treatments for insect control in soybeans, a report all Minnesota soybean farmers should review.

Neonicotinoids are an insecticide that uses nicotine as a toxin. Neonicotinoids were developed in the 1980s and 90s. They were developed due to the reduced toxicity over organophosphate and carbamate insecticides. Neonics tend to show lower toxicity in mammals than in insects. Read more

todd county

MSGA Pleased with EPA Enlist Duo Decision; Awaits Minn. Approval

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it will register Dow’s Enlist Duo herbicide for use with Enlist soybeans, a decision the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association (MSGA) applauded.

George Goblish

MSGA President George Goblish

“The EPA’s decision to register Enlist Duo herbicide is important for all farmers,” MSGA President George Goblish said. He added that it will be important for the EPA to register the herbicide in Minnesota.

Currently Enlist Duo is registered for six states, with an additional 10 being considered. The initial six states were part of the Agency’s original proposed registration for the Enlist Duo product. During the decision-making process, EPA scientists completed an endangered species risk assessment for the 2,4-D choline salt, as required by the Endangered Species Act, for the initial six states and concluded that the use, as approved, would not pose a risk to endangered species or their habitat.

EPA scientists have now completed risk assessments for the 2,4-D choline salt for 10 additional states, including Minnesota. The Agency is accepting comments until Nov. 14 to register Enlist Duo in those 10 additional states.

“While Minnesota soybean farmers won’t be able to take advantage of this new tool yet, we’re still excited about the decision,” Goblish said. “The Enlist Duo registration unties farmers’ hands and gives them another option to combat weed issues.”

The new, low-volatility Enlist Duo herbicide will be utilized with Enlist soybeans, when commercialized, to control resistant and difficult to manage weeds.

More information on the EPA’s decision can be found here.

Smentek, ASA to meet with EPA over WOTUS proposal

Joe Smentek

Joe Smentek

Minnesota Soybean Director of Environmental Affairs Joe Smentek will join four ASA directors and state staff Monday in Washington D.C. to discuss the proposed Waters of the U.S. rule with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lead staff and rule writers of the final rule.
Smentek will join farmer leaders Richard Wilkins (Del.), Ron Moore (Ill.), Davie Stephens (Ky.) and Ed Erickson (N.D.) for the meeting Monday. Smentek hopes to address undefined terms in the rule, tile drainage, and to clarify exemptions to the rule.
“We hope to stress the importance of clear and consistent rules,” Smentek said.

Northwest Minnesota variety trial

Science, not Dr. Oz, Should Drive 2,4-D Debate

Today, a popular television show, The Dr. Oz Show is scheduled to air a piece titled “New GMO Pesticide Doctors Are Warning Against today, Monday, Sept. 22, 2015 and will focus on the pending decision by EPA on registration of Dow AgroSciences Enlist Duo. For a sneak peak video of today’s Dr. Oz show, go to Enlist Duo is an herbicide containing glyphosate and 2,4-D developed to aid agriculture against weeds resistant to the glyphosate alone. In order for this combined chemistry to be effective crop plants must have genetic resistance to both glyphosate and 2,4-D. Read more