ODA Statement on Dicamba – Official Statement Regarding the Use of Over-the-Top Dicamba Products

Source: C.O.R.N. Newsletter

Official Statement Regarding the Use of Over-the-Top Dicamba Products

 

 

On June 3, 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit rendered a decision which vacated the federal registrations of three of the four dicamba products that had previously been approved for use on dicamba-tolerant (DT) soybeans. This decision has caused tremendous uncertainty for soybean producers and pesticide dealers during an agronomically critical time of year.  It is estimated that around 40 to 50 percent of the soybean crop planted in Ohio are dicamba tolerant varieties. The specific products impacted are:  XtendiMax with VaporGrip Technology, Engenia Herbicide, and DuPont FeXapan with VaporGrip Technology. Tavium plus VaporGrip Technology for use on DT soybeans was not covered by this ruling.

In response to the decision, on June 8, 2020, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) issued a Final Cancellation Order that outlines specific circumstances under which existing stocks of the three affected dicamba products can be used. The registration of these products in Ohio expires on June 30, 2020.  After careful evaluation of the court’s ruling, US EPA’s Final Cancellation Order, and the Ohio Revised Code and Administrative Code, as of July 1, 2020 these products will no longer be registered or available for use in Ohio unless otherwise ordered by the courts.

While use of already purchased product is permitted in Ohio until June 30, 2020, the Court’s decision and US EPA’s order makes further distribution or sale illegal, except for ensuring proper disposal or return to the registrant. Application of existing stocks inconsistent with the previously approved labeling accompanying the product is prohibited.  If you have questions about returning unused products, please reach out to your pesticide dealer’s representative.

For additional questions, please email pesticides@agri.ohio.gov or call 614-728-6394, and visit ODA’s website for updates.

Dicamba takes another blow: Court of Appeals vacates dicamba registration

Source: Peggy Hall, OSU Extension

Dicamba has had its share of legal challenges, and a decision issued yesterday dealt yet another blow when the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals  vacated the product’s registration with the U.S. EPA.  In doing so, the court held that the EPA’s approval of the registration violated the provisions of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (“FIFRA”), which regulates the use of herbicides and other chemicals in the U.S.  Here’s a summary of how the court reached its decision and a few thoughts on the uncertainty that follows the opinion.

What now?

The court raised the issue we’re all wondering about now:  can growers still use the dicamba products they’ve purchased?  Unfortunately, we don’t have an immediate answer to the question, because it depends largely upon how the EPA responds to the ruling.  We do know that:

  • FIFRA § 136a prohibits a person from distributing or selling any pesticide that is not registered.
  • FIFRA § 136d allows the EPA to permit continued sale and use of existing stocks of a pesticide whose registration is suspended or canceled.  The EPA utilized this authority in 2015 after the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated  the EPA’s registration of sulfoxaflor after determining that the registration was not supported by substantial evidence.  In that case, the EPA allowed continued use of the existing stocks of sulfoxaflor held by end-users provided that the users followed label restrictions.  Whether the agency would find similarly in regards to existing stocks of dicamba is somewhat unlikely given the court’s opinion, but remains to be seen.  The EPA’s 2015 sulfoxaflor cancellation order is here.
  • While the U.S. EPA registers pesticides for use and sale in the U.S., the product must also be registered within a state in order to be sold and used within the state.  The Ohio Department of Agriculture oversees pesticide registrations within Ohio, and also regulates the use of registered pesticides.
  • If the EPA appeals the Ninth Circuit’s decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, the agency would likely include a request for a “stay” that would delay enforcement of the court’s Order.
  • Bayer strongly disagrees with the decision but has paused its sale, distribution and use of XtendiMax while assessing its next step and awaiting EPA direction.  The company states that it will “work quickly to minimize any impact on our customers this season.”  Bayer also notes that it is already working to obtain a new registration for XtendiMax for the 2021 season and beyond, and hopes to obtain the registration by this fall.  See Bayer’s information here.
  • BASF also states that it is awaiting the EPA’s reaction to the decision, and that the company will “use all legal remedies available to challenge this Order.”
  • Corteva is also reviewing its options and has clarified that its Tavium Plus VaporGrip dicamba-based herbicide is not part of the ruling.

Click here to read the entire article.

Pesticide License Expiration Date Extended

REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio (March 27, 2020) – With the signing of House Bill 197, Ohio’s COVID-19 emergency response legislation, the March 31, 2020 deadline for private pesticide applicators (farmers) and the May 31, 2020 deadline for agricultural fertilizer certificate holders to renew their license and get training has been extended.

The deadline is now 90 days after the state of emergency Executive Order ends or December 1, 2020, whichever comes first.

Pesticide & Fertilizer Re-certification

Time is running out – Check the Expiration date on your pesticide and fertilizer license!

If you need your Pesticide and Fertilizer License Re-certification this year, our final re-certification class in Knox County will be held on March 27, 9 a.m. in the conference room of Advantage Ag and Equipment, 1025 Harcourt Road, Mount Vernon. All categories will be offered. There is a $35 class fee.

Achieving Full-season Waterhemp Control in Soybeans

Dr. Bob Hartzler and Meaghan Anderson, Integrated Crop Management News, and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

Although there are many ways weeds escape control in crop fields, one of the leading causes of waterhemp control failures is emergence of plants following postemergence herbicide (POST) treatments.

Waterhemp requires more than twice as many growing degree days to reach 50% emergence as giant foxtail or velvetleaf (Figure 1), resulting in much of the population emerging after mid-June.

The layered residual system is one of the best ways to reduce late-season waterhemp escapes in soybean. It involves a split application of herbicides with residual activity – the first application is made at or near planting, and then additional residual is included with the POST application (Figure 2). The additional residual herbicide extends activity later into the season than a single application, and is especially beneficial in years with heavy rains following planting.

Continue reading

Extensive Spread of Corn Toxin Could Affect 2019 Crop

A wetter than normal summer and fall in Ohio led to the worst spread of a toxin on corn in at least a decade, according to a grain disease expert with The Ohio State University.

And next year’s crop may be at risk as well. The fungus that produces the toxin can survive the winter, particularly if stalks or other plant material from the 2018 corn crop are left on the surface of the soil, said Pierce Paul, an Ohio State University Extension specialist in corn and small grain diseases. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).

The extent of vomitoxin across Ohio and the rest of the Corn Belt led some farmers to receive a lower price for their crop, Paul said.

High moisture levels spur the spread of vomitoxin, which can cause people and animals to get sick. The rainy summer and fall in the state and across the Midwest not only left more moisture in fields, but also delayed some farmers from harvesting.

And any corn left standing in wet fields becomes more susceptible to vomitoxin, Paul said.

Gibberella ear rot, a fungal disease that produces vomitoxin, also sucks nutrients out of corn, leading to smaller and lighter kernels, which can reduce yields and what farmers earn for the grain.

“I know there were farmers who had problems with price discounts, and some had their grain completely rejected,” Paul said.

Vomitoxin can cause animals, particularly pigs, to vomit or simply refuse to eat the tainted corn. If contaminated grain or grain products are consumed, this toxin can also make people ill, which is why the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has set strict limits on the amount of vomitoxin allowed in grain for human and animal consumption.

Moldy corn still can be used to produce ethanol. But the byproduct of ethanol production, typically a rich source of nutrients for animals, cannot be given to them because it will have a high concentration of vomitoxin, Paul said.

Vomitoxin can also contaminate wheat and barley. However, in Ohio, both of these crops were harvested by the first few weeks of July and were out of the fields before the persistent rains came, Paul said.

Not every cornfield had a problem with vomitoxin, because rainfall amounts are never uniform across the state.

The fields that were tainted with vomitoxin could still be a problem next season if the same or another susceptible hybrid is planted, Paul said.

Gibberella ear rot can survive in a field through winter and potentially harm the new crop if wet weather occurs, and “there’s nothing you can do after the fact” to control the disease, Paul said.

As a result, it’s important for farmers to choose corn seed that’s resistant to the fungus, he said. No corn hybrid is totally immune to Gibberella ear rot.

So, buying a hybrid that resists the disease is akin to people getting a flu shot. The hybrid does not guarantee that the crop will not get the disease, but it reduces the odds of that happening. If the crop does get infected, the damage is less extensive.  

In a field contaminated with vomitoxin, burying the stalks and other plant material that remain will help reduce, but won’t eliminate, the spread of the fungus in next year’s crop, Paul said.

Symptoms of Gibberella ear rot include pinkish mold. But it can be easy to overlook if a growing crop has been tarnished by the fungus because the husk covers up where the damage occurs, on the ear of the corn.  

“A lot of farmers are caught off guard,” Paul said. “After you harvest the grain or when you take it into the grain elevator, that’s when you start seeing weird stuff and realize you have a problem.”

For more information on vomitoxin, see go.osu.edu/vomitoxinfacts