Farmers in Texas and Nebraska are among those who can continue to use dicamba products after a federal court decision
By Diego Flammini
Farmers in some U.S. states will be permitted to continue using herbicide products that a federal court deemed illegal last week.
On June 3, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit removed federal registrations for dicamba products from Bayer (XtendiMax), BASF (Engenia) and Corteva Agriscience (FeXapan).
Without federal approval, farmers may be prohibited from using those products on their crops.
But agriculture departments from states like Kansas, Texas, Nebraska and Iowa have communicated to local farmers that they can continue to use those herbicides.
“The Nebraska Department of Agriculture has not issued a stop-sale order and will enforce the sales and applications of these products as they are currently registered in Nebraska,” Steve Wellman, Nebraska’s director of agriculture, said in a statement.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is likely to file an appeal on the court’s ruling. Any orders to stop the sale and use of dicamba in the state will come after that process, Wellman’s statement said.
The EPA confirmed it is exploring “all avenues to mitigate the impact of the court’s decision on farmers.”
The Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) is urging the EPA to appeal the decision.
The court’s ruling is affecting multiple parts of the supply chain, the organization said.
“Now the retailers are stuck with warehouses of unusable product and there will likely not be sufficient suppliers of alternate products available,” Daren Coppock, president and CEO of ARA, said in a June 5 letter to the EPA. “Growers are now without options at the worst possible time in their production year.”
Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller is standing up for his producers in the wake of the federal court’s decision.
“For the farmers in Texas, I want to be clear: I’ve got your back,” he said in a June 4 statement. “Dicamba is still available for use in Texas as currently labelled and will continue to be so until someone tells us to stop. In this difficult time, the last thing Texas farmers need is more uncertainty.”
Farmers in some states may be able to continue using the affected products regardless of the outcome of any appeal.
In Indiana, for example, state law doesn’t require federal registration as a condition for state registration.
Farms.com has reached out to producers and industry groups for comment.