The dicamba products Xtendimax, Engenia, and FeXapan had their registrations vacated June 3, 2020 by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The EPA announced June 8, 2020 a final cancellation order for these products.
Existing stocks, in possession on June 3, 2020 (the date of the court’s decision), can be used by farmers and commercial applicators by July 31. Use of these products must be consistent with the previously approved label.
The EPA’s full statement is here: https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2020-06/documents/final_cancellation_order_for_three_dicamba_products.pdf. Details on use of existing stocks are on page 11.
More background information can be found here
Tavium (dicamba + S-metolachlor) is also still legal to use. Tavium was not mentioned in the lawsuit making Tavium the only way to legally apply dicamba to Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans or Xtendflex cotton. This product is already in short supply and may be difficult to acquire. Tavium cannot be used on double crop soybean.
There are effective alternatives to dicamba. In RR2 Xtend soybean, I recommend Flexstar GT in place of dicamba. This product is not currently in short supply, but there is potential for that to occur. So I encourage farmers that plan to use Flexstar GT to go ahead and acquire it. Other alternative products can be found in Table 5.54 on page 5-182 of the Pest Management Guide. Additionally, information on controlling Palmer amaranth in soybean is here: https://www.pubs.ext.vt.edu/2808/2808-1006/2808-1006.html and common ragweed is here: https://www.pubs.ext.vt.edu/content/dam/pubs_ext_vt_edu/spes/spes-143/SPES-143.pdf. In cotton, most varieties have the option of using Liberty, which is my recommendation in place of dicamba. But other alternative products can be found in Tables 5.112 and 5.113, starting on page 5-344.
Farmers should consider changing soybean herbicide traits for double crop acres or any soybean ground that has not yet been planted. LibertyLink, LLGT27, and Enlist are all good options in place of RR2 Xtend. Farmers may also consider a Roundup Ready variety as well, to potentially save tech fees compared to RR2 Xtend, but there are very few of these even before this announcement. I realize changing this late in the year may not be feasible and the best performing varieties may not be available. If farmers choose to change varieties, make sure that the variety has both strong yield potential and the herbicide trait of choice.
This ruling does not apply to dicamba products such as Clarity and Banvel, that are not labeled for use in Xtend traited crops, so these can continue to be used in pastures, corn, and other labeled uses. Dicamba products that are not labeled for use in dicamba-tolerant crops have been and continue to be illegal to use over-the-top of RR2 Xtend soybean and Xtendflex cotton.
This ruling comes at the absolute worst time during the season. There may be temptation to use dicamba illegally, but I strongly encourage us all to think about the implications of such actions on agriculture. These products have been and will continue to be under scrutiny from the non-ag public.