Weed killer made by Monsanto, BASF, gets 'restricted use' label for 2018

From Reuters - October 13, 2017

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency unveiled new restrictions on Friday on the use of the weed killer dicamba, which has caused widespread crop damage in the Midwest for the past two years.

The EPA said in a statement certain dicamba formulations will be classified as a restricted-use pesticide, which means only certified pesticide applicators, or people under their supervision, will be allowed to spray it onto crops during the 2018 growing season.

The only formulations to which the new rules apply are those manufactured by Monsanto and BASF (BASF.NS) to be sprayed over Monsantos dicamba-tolerant crops, an EPA spokesman said. DuPont sells Monsantos formulation under its own brand name.

Since we proposed this in a voluntary fashion were pleased with it, Monsanto Vice President of Global Strategy Scott Partridge said in an interview.

A BASF spokeswoman said the company was pleased growers will continue to have access to its herbicide.

The EPA has been conferring with weed scientists and state regulators to decide how dicamba should be regulated during the 2018 growing season. In September, sources told Reuters the agency was considering banning dicamba, which is known to convert from a liquid to a gas and migrate away from its intended target under certain environmental conditions.

Monsanto and BASF have said their latest dicamba formulations were designed to be less volatile. But farmers reported more damage from migrating dicamba in 2017, the first year the two new formulations were available, than during the previous two years, when some farmers illegally sprayed older, more volatile versions of dicamba onto Monsantos new dicamba-tolerant cotton and soybeans.


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