The Environmental Protection Agency aims to allow farmers to use dicamba next year, but with additional rules in place. An EPA official in the agency’s Office of Pesticide Programs told Reuters this week the agency had not yet determined what steps it would take to mitigate problems associated with dicamba.
The herbicide was linked to widespread crop damage this summer. EPA officials have met with state regulators to find ways to prevent crop damage, along with negotiating with herbicide companies BASF and Monsanto. The comments by the EPA hint that the agency is unwilling to set a ban on the product after a certain date that would prohibit post-emergence or “over the top” spraying of dicamba.
An EPA official told state regulators the agency was “very concerned with what has occurred and transpired in 2017,” and says the EPA is “committed to taking appropriate action for the 2018 growing season with an eye towards ensuring that the technology is available,” and that growers use it responsibly.