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ARA Expresses Disagreement with Dicamba Registration Vacatur Court Decision

Feb 07 2024

ARA President & CEO Daren Coppock released a statement expressing disagreement with the ruling out of a federal district court in Arizona that vacated the registration for over-the-top (OTT) applications of dicamba-tolerant soybeans and cotton:

"ARA disagrees with this decision. It removes a determination that should be made by a science-based regulatory agency to a federal court, and the timing of the decision will be extremely disruptive to ag retailers, distributors, manufacturers and farmers who made plans to use these products in 2024.

"People have different opinions about whether OTT dicamba should be registered and used. But surely, we can agree that we’re all better off – including consumers and the environment – if these decisions are made by regulators with scientific expertise during the registration review process rather than by the federal courts or activist litigators which lack that expertise.

"The timing of the decision is problematic. Farmers have already made their decisions about what varieties of cotton and soybean seed they want to plant in 2024, and retailers are already stocking not only the seed but also the herbicides these growers will need for their systems. A grower who chooses dicamba-tolerant seed is also choosing to use a dicamba product in their weed control program; otherwise, they would not buy dicamba-tolerant seed. This court decision, issued after those plans have been made and while retailers are procuring the products necessary to fulfill them, comes at the worst possible time in the season.

"ARA encourages EPA and the registrants to continue the defense of science-based pesticide regulation in the federal courts by appealing the decision and requesting a stay of the decision during the appeal. Flexibility in emergency labels and cancelation orders will be necessary to minimize chaos and economic harm in the supply chain to retailers, distributors and the farmers whom they serve."

On Feb. 8, ARA sent a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan in disagreement with the ruling and offered suggested next steps that the agency can take to help avoid unnecessary chaos and economic harm to ag retailers, distributors, and the farmers they serve.

OTT dicamba products Xtendimax (Bayer), Engenia (BASF) and Tavium (Syngenta) were all included in the decision which is national in scope.