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EPA takes comments on XtendiMax label

The Environmental Protection Agency is taking public comments on a 2025 registration and label for a Bayer low-volatility herbicide formerly known as XtendiMax.

Bayer submitted a new registration for the herbicide following action from a federal court earlier this year that vacated the 2020 registrations of three over the top dicamba products, which included XtendiMax. An existing stocks order for dicamba is currently in place for the 2024 growing season.

Aaron Hager with University of Illinois Extension says dicamba’s use in soybeans and the application timing have been updated.

“The old labels would allow anywhere from a pre-plant, pre-emergence through post-emergence timing, but what these proposed new labels would restrict the application in soybean to pre-plant, at-planting or pre-emergence.”

The pre-emergence application cutoff for soybeans would be June 12 across the country and he says if the label is finalized as is, using dicamba as a soil-applied herbicide will change the spectrum of weeds it controls.

He says there are a few new points on the proposed label that line-up with EPA’s herbicide strategy, including language on runoff mitigation.

Karen Corrigan with McGillicuddy-Corrigan Agronomics tells Brownfield many of the farmers she works with who use dicamba for soybeans already use a different herbicide for post-emergence application.

“Hopefully, we’ve moved into a practice that’s the best case scenario.”

Her biggest concern is dicamba products used to manage weeds for other crops might be a target next.

This new product registration would also make the product available for cotton, but the applications can be use pre-and-post emergence, but the product must be applied by July 30.

Last week, EPA opened a 30-day comment period to give stakeholders the opportunity to provide input and perspective early in the registration process. In a statement, Bayer tells Brownfield the next steps in the registration process are up to the EPA and they’re doing everything they can to get the best possible label for growers for 2025 and beyond.

The environmental groups who have pursued litigation against dicamba use, including the Center for Food Safety and Center for Biological Diversity, say dicamba can’t be used safely with GE dicamba resistant crops and while Bayer has offered some changes in the proposed label language, the changes wouldn’t fix the key issues that have resulted in past calamities. 

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