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EPA Registration Decision for Dicamba Use in Xtend Soybeans and XtendFlex Cotton

By Michael Flessner
 
As you may have heard, the EPA announced Wednesday (Oct. 31, 2018) to continue dicamba registrations for over-the-top use in Xtend soybeans and cotton, through 2020, with label changes. This decision only impacts Xtendimax, Engenia, and FeXapan dicamba products. The decision does not impact dicamba products that are not labeled for over-the-top use in Xtend soybeans or XtendFlex cotton.
 
Summary of label changes from the EPA:
  • Two-year registration (until December 20, 2020)
  • Only certified applicators may apply dicamba over the top (those working under the supervision of a certified applicator may no longer make applications)
  • Prohibit over-the-top application of dicamba on soybeans 45 days after planting and cotton 60 days after planting
  • For cotton, limit the number of over-the-top applications from 4 to 2 (soybeans remain at 2 OTT applications)
  • Applications will be allowed only from 1 hour after sunrise to 2 hours before sunset
  • In counties where endangered species may exist, the downwind buffer will remain at 110 feet and there will be a new 57-foot buffer around the other sides of the field (the 110-foot downwind buffer applies to all applications, not just in counties where endangered species may exist)
  • Clarify training period for 2019 and beyond, ensuring consistency across all three products
  • Enhanced tank clean out instructions for the entire system
  • Enhanced label to improve applicator awareness on the impact of low pH’s on the potential volatility of dicamba
  • Label clean up and consistency to improve compliance and enforceability
 
A more detailed press release with links to more information from the EPA is here: https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/epa-announces-changes-dicamba-registration.
 
Training requirements and how to fulfill those for the 2019 season remain a question. I will post this information when it becomes available. I anticipate that training will be provided at various locations throughout Virginia by the registrants in addition to internet-based options, similar to last year. Training requirements to apply these products in North Carolina were different than Virginia for 2018, which I anticipate will continue in 2019.
 
In the past, Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Office of Pesticide Services has not placed additional restrictions, beyond the EPA approved federal label, on these products. I do not anticipate a change in that stance for 2019.