The Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) and the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (NCFC) called on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to further clarify the agency’s cancellation order on use and distribution of dicamba products.
The call came in a letter sent by ARA President and CEO Daren Coppock and NCFC CEO Chuck Conner to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. On June 3, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated three dicamba registrations and yesterday the EPA clarified that under the order farmers or applicators with existing stocks of dicamba may apply the herbicide until July 31.
“While the Agency’s cancellation order provided some guidance to end-users as well as applicators, it failed to address several scenarios where product is in the pipeline at various points in the supply chain,” the groups stated in the letter. “These questions need quick answers during this critical time of the growing season as weeds will not wait for protracted legal analysis.”
One example given is one in which a producer has pre-paid or contracted for the product before June 3 but had not yet had it delivered. The letter also notes that several states allowed sale and distribution of these dicamba products after the court decision; since the order is retroactive to June 3, however, guidance is needed on whether farmers are permitted to use product they purchased between June 3 and June 8.
“We request the Agency issue further clarification following the issuance of the cancellation order for the three dicamba products,” the letter concludes. “Such clarification can come in the form of a ‘frequently asked questions’ section on the Agency’s web site and be updated in a timely manner as issues arise during this critical time.”