The Environmental Protection Agency is expected to appeal a recent court ruling on the use of dicamba herbicide. “Once the appeal is in place, it is likely the EPA and registrants will start marshaling their arguments and taking it to a higher court,” said Andrew Thostenson, pesticide program specialist, NDSU Extension. “I think it will be important for people to watch what the state departments of agriculture do on this for the next few days.” Thostenson noted one especially interesting thing from the ruling. “The EPA and registrants actually asked the court for some flexibility if the ruling went against them and the court said we hear you, but the potential damage to the environment is such that we must act. The court usually requires 60 days to respond. The EPA uses that time to file an appeal and work through the problems. This happened with chlorpyrifos, but that didn’t happen in this situation.” In the meantime, NDSU Extension is putting together guidelines on how to manage weeds without using dicamba, which should be available soon. “There aren’t a lot of good alternatives for farmers, especially if you haven’t been able to use a pre-herbicide and that herbicide hasn’t been properly activated. It’s a very tough situation farmers are facing right now.”
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