EPA Approves New Herbicide for Cotton, Soybeans

Published December 19, 2016

Despite objections from environmental organizations concerned about wildlife impacts, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved the use of a new herbicide mix on cotton and soybeans.

EPA approved a new formulation of dicamba, a widely used a weed killer, determining it is unlikely to spread to neighboring fields.

EPA’s approval allows dicamba formulations, XtendiMax with VaporGrip Technology, to be used in 34 states, giving farmers alternatives to the weed killer, glyphosate, which is becoming less effective overtime with weeds developing a tolerance to it. Weeds compete with cotton, reducing yields by as much as 30 percent. In addition, weeds provide shelter and food for insects that also feed upon cotton and soybeans.

The National Cotton Council of America supported EPA’s registration of the new dicamba formulations while the Center for Biological Diversity opposed EPA’s approval saying it had failed to adequately weigh potential threats the herbicides pose to wildlife.

H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D., ([email protected]) is the managing editor of Environment & Climate News.