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Comment Period Open on Syngenta Dicamba
By Jason Jenkins
Wednesday, July 24, 2024 3:37PM CDT

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (DTN) -- A new proposed label for Tavium, Syngenta's dicamba herbicide, would maintain over-the-top (OTT) application of the product in soybeans, but only through the V2 growth stage or until June 12, whichever comes first.

On July 23, EPA published a notice of receipt in the Federal Register and announced the start of a 30-day public comment period for Tavium, which contains the active ingredients S-metolachlor and dicamba for use on tolerant soybeans and cotton. The agency stated that because the application involves a new use pattern for dicamba, it is required to provide a comment period on the registration application consistent with the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide ACT (FIFRA).

EPA also seeks comment on the associated draft labeling that was submitted by Syngenta, which is available here: https://www.regulations.gov/….

With the announcement, Syngenta joined Bayer and BASF in submitting new labels for their previously registered OTT dicamba products. It comes more than five months after a federal court in Arizona vacated the products' 2020 registrations. Public comment periods for proposed registration and labels for Bayer's XtendiMax and BASF's Engenia herbicides ended June 3 and July 5, respectively, receiving nearly 23,000 comments combined.

The proposed label for Tavium would allow applications to dicamba-tolerant soybeans before, during and immediately after planting as well as over the top until the crop reaches the V2 growth stage -- when the second trifoliate leaf is fully unfolded -- or until June 12, whichever comes first. The previous label allowed for OTT application in soybeans until the V4 growth stage or until June 30.

Syngenta's proposed label for Tavium mirrors BASF's proposed label for Engenia with the same growth stage and cutoff dates. The proposed label for Bayer's XtendiMax product also carried the same June 12 cutoff date but did not include any OTT application in soybeans.

In dicamba-tolerant cotton, applications of Tavium would be allowed before, during and immediately after planting as well as over the top until the crop reaches the 6-leaf growth stage but no later than July 30. These proposed application restrictions in cotton are the same as the previous Tavium label.

The proposed product formulation, maximum single application rate and maximum annual rate for Tavium is the same as previously labeled.

The federal court's action to vacate the 2020 registrations of Tavium, Engenia and XtendiMax led EPA to issue an existing stocks order for the 2024 season, allowing for the use of the herbicides already distributed from the product registrants following application cutoff dates on previously approved labels. Details about that order can be found here: https://www.dtnpf.com/….

Sale and distribution of these three dicamba products for use in soybeans and cotton was prohibited in all states as of June 30, the same as the final OTT application cutoff date for soybeans. Application to cotton is allowed to continue until July 30 this year.

In an email to DTN, a Syngenta spokesperson said the company's decision to include OTT application in soybeans on the proposed Tavium label was based on "grower needs, product use and application timing 'fit.'

"Syngenta is confident that Tavium brings strong, unique value to growers for use in Xtend and XtendFlex crops," the spokesperson wrote. "As with the prior registration, if Syngenta's new application is approved by EPA, Tavium would be the only premix residual dicamba herbicide for use in dicamba-tolerant soybeans and cotton that contains two active ingredients and two effective sites of action providing contact and residual control to manage key ALS-, PPO- and glyphosate-resistant weeds.

"As growers consider their options and the uncertainties associated with future dicamba registrations and uses on Xtend and XtendFlex crops, the importance of pre-emerge and overlapping residual herbicides becomes even more critical to controlling weeds," the company statement continued. "Syngenta offers a robust portfolio of pre-emergent and post residual herbicides that help growers control weeds regardless of trait platform."


Previously, soybean growers expressed concerns with the proposed labels for OTT dicamba products. In May, following the announcement of the public comment period for Bayer's XtendiMax, Alan Meadows, a soybean farmer from Tennessee and director for the American Soybean Association, said that tens of thousands of U.S. soybean farmers would be "sitting ducks" without post-emergent dicamba. In June, he noted that soybean fields would be susceptible to weed reinfestation between the V2 growth stage cutoff -- as proposed by BASF and Syngenta -- and crop canopy closure.

The proposed June 12 cutoff date was also questioned because it doesn't account for environmental factors, such as a wet spring, that delay soybean planting and subsequent herbicide applications.

EPA stated that its announcement of the public comment period should not be interpreted as a registrant proposal that has been endorsed for future approval by the federal agency.

"Should EPA determine that this or any other registrant-submitted application including over-the-top dicamba meets the standard for registration of a new use under FIFRA, EPA will provide a separate opportunity for public comment on the proposed decision at a future time," the agency stated.

The last day to submit a comment regarding the proposed registration and label for Tavium is Aug. 22, 2024. EPA will review public comments as part of the proposed application process and incorporate any feedback into the registration decision. To comment, go here: https://www.regulations.gov/…

More stories from DTN:

-- " Proposed BASF Dicamba Label Maintains Early OTT Use in Soybean," https://www.dtnpf.com/…

-- "Proposed Bayer Dicamba Label Removes Over-the-Top Use in Soybeans," https://www.dtnpf.com/…

-- "Bayer Submits XtendiMax Registration Application to EPA for 2025 and Beyond," https://www.dtnpf.com/…

-- "Dicamba Availability in Question After Court Vacates EPA Registrations," https://www.dtnpf.com/…

Jason Jenkins can be reached at jason.jenkins@dtn.com

Follow him on social platform X @JasonJenkinsDTN

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