Dicamba’s Roller Coaster Journey

Mark VanGessel, Extension Weed Specialist; mjv@udel.edu

On February 6 of this year, a US District Court in Arizona “vacated” (aka cancelled) all labels for dicamba application over the top of Xtend crops. This meant these dicamba products (XtendiMax, Tavium, and Engenia) could not be used for any purpose. The reason for this was that the Environmental Protection Agency did not follow the guidelines set out under the pesticide registration process.  On February 14 the EPA issued an “Existing Stocks Order for Dicamba Products Previously Registered for Over-the-Top Use on Dicamba-Tolerant Cotton and Soybean”.  This means that products that were manufactured and have “entered the channels of trade” prior to February 6 can be used according to the label. For use in soybeans in DE and MD, the product must be sold and distributed by May 31 and the cutoff date for application is June 30, 2024. Reminder that XtendiMax, Tavium, and Engenia labels require applicators to complete training every year.  Each applicator needs to have their own certification; working under the supervision of someone who has completed the training is not allowed.  Trainings are available online through Bayer, BASF, or Syngenta.

This ruling by the EPA provides access of these herbicides to farmers for the 2024 season. EPA will need to make a decision on how they intend to deal with these dicamba products for the 2025 season and beyond.