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Soybean, Cotton Growers Sue EPA Over Dicamba Use Restrictions

Clint Thompson Cotton, Soybeans

File photo shows rows of soybeans.

The American Soybean Association and the Plains Cotton Growers have filed a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency registration of the herbicide dicamba. The product is used for “over-the-top” applications on soybean and cotton crops genetically engineered to withstand the herbicide.

A Feedstuffs magazine report says the recent decision by the EPA gives growers five years of usage, beginning with the 2021 growing season. However, the lawsuit says some aspects of the registration decision, such as buffer requirements and application cutoffs, are “problematic for growers who depend on reasonable and consistent access to dicamba for use on dicamba-tolerant soybeans and cotton.”

While registering dicamba, EPA imposed several application and use conditions on soybean and cotton growers. The lawsuit notes that “several registration conditions impose growing restrictions and disrupt growing seasons, which will diminish crop yields, cut productivity, and drive up the costs of operating. Some of those conditions are much more stringent than in past registrations.”

The lawsuit challenges the conditions as going beyond EPA’s authority under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. The case seeks a remand of the EPA restrictions on dicamba applications as well as the spatial application buffers.

(From the National Association of Farm Broadcasters)