Crops News

BASF, Corteva file motion to intervene in Ninth Circuit dicamba case


BASF and Corteva have filed separate motions to intervene following the decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to vacate the federal registrations of three dicamba-based herbicides — Bayer/Monsanto’s XtendiMax; DuPont’s FeXapan; and BASF’s Engenia. The Court’s June 3, 2020 decision brought both BASF and Corteva products into the case for the first time.

BASF has made the request to intervene after careful consideration of the sudden and severe financial impact vacating the registration has had on farmers during this critical application time, when farmers now have less than a month to protect millions of acres under threat from resistant weeds. The Ninth Circuit’s decision has caused chaos among the agricultural community and threatens the livelihood of countless U.S. farmers. Seeking to make matters worse, the challengers have now asked the Ninth Circuit to undo the EPA’s order which implemented the panel’s decision and addressed the uncertainty it caused. 

“Taking this action during the height of the application season gives no regard to the significant investments farmers have made in their businesses and leaves them without viable options for the growing season,” said Paul Rea, Senior Vice President, BASF Agricultural Solutions North America. “Farming is difficult even in the best of times and remains challenging. Making this decision now, when weed resistance continues to threaten farming operations, is disastrous for our customers. Farmers have counted on applications of dicamba-based products to control troublesome weeds for decades, and they continue to need these tools now and in the future.”

Corteva’s news release stated, “Corteva is seeking to intervene to preserve our rights and to support the rights of customers to use the impacted dicamba weed control technologies. We believe dicamba is an effective weed management tool for farmers when used according to the label. We also seek to preserve the role of the U.S. EPA to administer the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide & Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), including granting or cancelling crop protection product registrations, for the benefit of agriculture and society.”

Farmers have used the dicamba-based herbicides since 2016 to allow for clean fields and robust yields of dicamba-tolerant soybeans and cotton.

“Engenia and other dicamba-based herbicides are critical in ensuring the long-term sustainability of agriculture and crop protection products,” continued Rea. “Not only do they play a role in protecting crops, but also in ensuring an abundant, safe and affordable food supply. Continued innovation in crop protection and weed management must continue and be supported to sustain this industry.”

“I have been using Engenia for three years, and it is a critical part of my operation to reduce the threat of resistant weeds and ensure a successful yield each season,” said Brad Kallenbach, a soybean farmer from Jamestown, North Dakota. “My livelihood depends on tools like Engenia to tackle these challenges, and those of us that use it have dedicated a tremendous amount of time to ensure that we are doing it responsibly. The Court’s decision to vacate the Engenia registration leaves me with no good options for this year. It’s a steep cost that no grower under these circumstances was ready to bear.”

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