Thursday, January 12, 2017 - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved over-the-top use of Monsanto's dicamba-based herbicide XtendiMax with VaporGrip Technology on dicamba-tolerant cotton and soybeans that have already been on the market for several growing seasons. This means that farmers will no longer have to illegally spray their genetically modified (GMO) cotton and soy with older versions of an extremely volatile and drift-prone herbicide.
This will escalate the probability of drift from the increased exposure. 10 states have reported widespread damage on thousands of acres of non-target crops such as peaches, tomatoes, cantaloupes, watermelons, rice, cotton, peas, peanuts, alfalfa and soybeans.
Some growers have already expressed that they have no choice but to switch to the new Xtend system. With or without approval of the new herbicide, affected farmers have indicated they will be forced to switch to dicamba-resistant varieties as an insurance policy for future growing seasons.
Monsanto claims that the VaporGrip additive prevents the formation of dicamba acid and lowers volatility, based on company tests. However, university weed scientists have complained that they've not been allowed to test the new formulations to compare to older products.
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