wisconsin soybean

WSA hails EPA’s existing stocks order for dicamba

Categories: WSAPublished On: February 15, 20242.6 min read

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Along with the American Soybean Association (ASA) and 25 other soy state affiliates, the Wisconsin Soybean Association (WSA) is pleased with the U.S. EPA’s decision to issue an existing stocks order for dicamba for the 2024 growing season.

“Wisconsin soybean growers depend on a comprehensive toolbox to aid them in their efforts to become more sustainable,” WSA President Sara Stelter said. “We’re happy that the EPA is allowing the use of existing dicamba stocks so that our growers aren’t left stranded during the 2024 growing season.”

On Feb. 6, a court ruled that the EPA made a procedural error in issuing 2020 dicamba registrations for over-the-top (OTT) use on dicamba-tolerant soybeans and cotton. Because the EPA didn’t offer a public notice and comment period before issuing the registrations, the court ruled the agency was in violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act and vacated 2020 registrations for XtendiMax, Enginia and Tavium.

“The court’s decision on dicamba instantly left tens of millions of acres of U.S. farmland in limbo – and in limbo a matter of weeks before spring planting,” ASA President Josh Gackle said. “We appreciate the certainty EPA’s existing stocks order provides to farmers from North Dakota where I farm all the way to Florida and everywhere in between.”

The existing stocks order allows for the sale, distribution and use of existing stocks of the previously registered dicamba products that are currently in the U.S. and were packaged, labeled and released for shipment prior to the Feb. 6 court ruling date. Under the order, farmers can use these existing stocks consistent with the cutoff dates from the previous registration.

“Rulings like this exemplify the importance of working in conjunction with our national organizations,” Stelter said. “Signing on to ASA’s letter to the EPA requesting a broad existing stocks order for dicamba allowed us to work together to enhance farmers’ ability to use a variety of tools.”

By working closely with ASA, WSA is able to join national efforts and have a stronger presence in Madison and Washington, D.C., for its 1,200 members. This ruling is just one example of how membership investment works on behalf of soybean growers and the soybean industry. Approximately 10 percent of Wisconsin soybean farmers are WSA members; imagine what WSA could do with all Wisconsin soybean farmers as members, speaking with one voice.

“Now, more than ever, membership is crucial,” Stelter said. “Not only are you investing in the Wisconsin soybean industry when you become a member of WSA, but also in the national soybean industry through ASA. Your membership dollars go a long way to protect soybean grower interests.”

The ruling would have affected every state in which the products are registered and could have impacted 50 million acres of dicamba-tolerant soybeans and cotton – an area larger than the state of Nebraska. Most farmers have already placed orders for herbicide and herbicide-tolerant seed. In addition, growers have few alternative products available to cover the capacity of a nationwide switch.

“We have a lot of work ahead of us, but the EPA’s existing stocks order for dicamba is a step in the right direction,” Stelter said.