States have the authority to make changes to local regulations
By Diego Flammini
New Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations on dicamba will help soybean and cotton growers control problematic weeds.
Yesterday, the EPA announced a series of measures designed to help growers protect their crops while also taking potential drift issues into consideration.
Included in the agency’s rulings is a two-year registration extension. Current dicamba registrations, which the EPA authorized in 2016, were set to expire this month.
The EPA’s new ruling extends the dicamba registration to Dec. 20, 2020.
Other EPA decisions include allowing dicamba applications “from 1 hour after sunrise to 2 hours before sunset” and prohibiting over-the-top applications on cotton 60 days after planting.
Soybean growers are pleased with the EPA’s pertaining to dicamba applications on their cash crop.
Farmers will have 45 days after planting to perform over-the-top dicamba applications to their fields, the EPA’s ruling says.
That extended window will give farmers ample opportunity to keep weeds like Palmer amaranth under control, said John Heisdorffer, president of the American Soybean Association.
“We need dicamba in our toolbox to keep moving forward with weed control,” he said to Farms.com. “We’ve got 45 days for over the top applications and we can put down dicamba pre-emergence without any restrictions. I think this will be a good working relationship between the EPA and soybean farmers.”
Individual states will have the authority to make changes to rules in local jurisdictions.
The EPA’s decision sets out the “minimum standards,” said Willard Jack, a soybean producer from Belzoni, Miss. and former member of a state task force on herbicide performance.
“Each state can make the (regulations) more restrictive if they want to,” he told Farms.com. “If they choose to do nothing, they would still have to follow the EPA’s rules.”
Growers are pleased that states will have the authority to make different rules based on several factors.
“I think the more local you can make it, the better,” said Daniel Berglund, a soybean producer from Wharton, Texas and president of the Texas Soybean Association. “We might have different issues here than we would somewhere else in the country.
“Having localized rules that take things like neighboring crops and climate into account will only help farmers.”