The EPA announced a 30-day public comment period regarding the in-crop use of dicamba herbicide with Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans and Bollgard II XtendFlex cotton.
A limited commercial introduction of Bollgard II XtendFlex Cotton took place in 2015 with commercial launch in 2016. Monsanto announced its commercialization plans for Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans in February. Monsanto’s Asgrow, Channel and regional brands, along with Corn States licensees, expect to introduce more than 70 soybean products across eight maturity groups with agronomic traits including resistance to nematodes and phytophthora root rot. Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans are broadly licensed to more than 100 seed brands.
At present, it is a violation of federal and state law to make an in-crop application of any dicamba herbicide product on Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans or Bollgard II XtendFlex cotton 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, as well as homeowner uses. Following final approvals, farmers will be able to use dicamba in-crop with soybeans tolerant to dicamba and glyphosate and with cotton tolerant to dicamba, glyphosate and glufosinate.
In December 2014, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) concluded a thorough assessment of Monsanto’s Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans and Bollgard II XtendFlex cotton 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.
The EPA is now accepting public comments. Comments on the EPA’s regulatory decision must be submitted no later than April 30, 2017. Comments may be submitted to the EPA docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0187 at www.regulations.gov.
Monsanto has provided a tool, which can be found at RoundupReadyPLUS.com/supportdicamba, to aid stakeholders in writing and submitting a comment.