Bayer AG has been blocked from selling dicamba-based herbicide in the U.S. after a three-judge panel ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency understated the risks related to the use of the weed killer.
Bloomberg News reports that the panel concluded the EPA had “failed entirely” to acknowledge some risks dicamba poses. The panel said that the agency violated federal regulations when it extended its approval of registration for the herbicide for another two years in October 2018.
Pesticides can’t be sold or distributed in the U.S. without EPA registration.
A Bayer spokesperson said the company strongly disagrees with the ruling.
More information from DTN:
The ruling has enormous implications for farmers this summer, given that roughly 60 million acres of dicamba-tolerant cotton and soybeans were slated for 2020 planting, with the expectation that farmers could use dicamba over the top for weed control.
Much legal wrangling likely remains ahead, but the consequences for weed control this summer could be serious if the ruling stands, said University of Illinois weed scientist Aaron Hager.
“Given that there are many thousands, if not millions, of Xtend acres that have not been treated yet, if this label is fully vacated right now and there is no appeal and stay from the courts, farmers will have to scramble to come up with alternative solutions,” he said.
When asked what this ruling means for legal use of dicamba in 2020, an EPA spokesperson could only tell DTN by email that “EPA is currently reviewing the court decision and will move promptly to address the Court’s directive.”