EPA Opens Comment Period on Dicamba Use with New Traits
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a 30-day public comment period, beginning April 1, regarding the in-crop use of dicamba herbicide with Bollgard II XtendFlex cotton and Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans.
This, according to Monsanto, marks another critical milestone toward farmers gaining access to new dicamba weed management tools. A limited commercial introduction of Bollgard II XtendFlex Cotton took place in 2015, with commercial launch in 2016. Monsanto announced commercialization plans for Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans in February.
At present, it is a violation of federal and state law to make an in-crop application of any dicamba herbicide product on Bollgard II XtendFlex cotton or Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans, as no dicamba product is currently approved for those uses.
Dicamba has a decades-long history of safe and effective use in the U.S. and 25 other countries in corn, wheat, fallow and pasture land, conservation tillage acres, and homeowner uses. Following final approvals, farmers will be able to use dicamba in-crop with cotton tolerant to dicamba, glyphosate and glufosinate and with soybeans tolerant to dicamba and glyphosate.
“Stakeholder comments will really make a difference,” said Kim Magin, Monsanto’s Director of Industry Affairs. “Supportive letters are important for regulators to understand the various perspectives from farmers and agricultural stakeholders.”
With the EPA now accepting public comments, Monsanto has provided an online tool to aid stakeholders in writing and submitting a comment.
In December 2014, USDA concluded a thorough assessment of Monsanto’s Bollgard II XtendFlex cotton and Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans and authorized those crops for unrestricted commercial planting. Before reaching its decision, the USDA considered nearly 5,000 comments submitted by farmers, academic and scientific experts and other key stakeholders. An overwhelming majority of those who provided feedback during the public comment period voiced support for the trait technology.
Source – Monsanto