U.S. Cotton Producers Maintain Access to Critical Weed Control Tool

Clint Thompson Alabama, Cotton, Florida, Georgia

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The National Cotton Council (NCC) is pleased with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit’s denial of an emergency motion to halt dicamba use — a ruling that provides U.S. cotton producers with a very important weed control tool this season and prevents devastating financial losses.

The court’s ruling means producers and commercial applicators can continue applying existing stocks (those in hand as of June 3) of XtendiMax, Engenia and FeXapan through July 31, 2020.

The NCC was part of a coalition of national grower trade associations that had urged the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit last week to reject a non-governmental organization’s call to invalidate EPA’s dicamba existing stocks order for these three dicamba products whose registrations were immediately vacated by the court earlier this month. The NCC joined with the American Farm Bureau Federation, American Soybean Association, National Association of Wheat Growers, National Corn Growers Association and National Sorghum Producers in filing the amicus brief supporting EPA’s position against the NGO’s petition that sought to invalidate EPA’s dicamba existing stocks order and hold the agency in contempt.

Kent Fountain

NCC Chairman Kent Fountain, a Georgia producer and ginner, said the brief 1) cited the enormous financial damage that would be caused by the court’s original vacatur of the products’ registration and 2) explained how modern farming works with advanced planning/purchasing and financial commitments that are closely linked from seeds and technology choices to pest control options.

“Many producers had already committed their 2020 capital and land resources to cotton production,” Fountain said, “and this season’s cotton crop was planted extensively with seed varieties dependent on access to dicamba products. “Alternative weed control methods at this point in the growing season would have been very costly and far less effective, especially in combating resistant pigweed. Also, replanting with a different variety was no longer a viable option.”