WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representatives Mike Bost (IL-12), John Shimkus (IL-15), Adam Kinzinger (IL-16), Rodney Davis (IL-13), and Darin LaHood (IL-18) authored a letter today to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler urging an appeal of the recent decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Court that vacated three registrations of dicamba and request a Section 18 Emergency Use Authorization to provide guidance for producers. This decision comes at a time when soybean farmers across Illinois have already begun applying dicamba to their crop in order to achieve maximum yield potential.
"This decision by the Ninth Circuit Court could not come at a worse possible time for soybean farmers in Illinois," said Republican members of the Illinois Congressional delegation. "Dicamba is a vital part of over-the-top (OTT) application plans for soybean farmers across the Midwest, and especially in Illinois. This ruling only causes more uncertainty for producers who are trying to rebound from a historically tough 2019 season while ensuring planting takes place despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We urge Administrator Wheeler to appeal this decision immediately and request a stay of the court order to ensure farmers can finish their soybean planting season without having to worry about whether or not their crop will make it to harvest."
Text of the letter sent to Administrator Wheeler:
The Honorable Andrew Wheeler
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20460
Sent via electronic mail
We write to you regarding the June 3, 2020 decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to immediately vacate the registration of three dicamba products (Xtendimax, Engenia, and FeXapan) during the height of the application season. Your prompt attention to this matter is appreciated.
Illinois is the largest soybean producing state in the nation, and thousands of farmers use dicamba to ensure their crop reaches its maximum yield potential. This ruling comes at the height of the dicamba application season and has created chaos amongst farmers and manufacturers. The Court has not considered the consequences of their decision to immediately prohibit the use of dicamba, including the millions of dollars spent by soybean farmers on this product.
Many producers across Illinois made specific plans to apply dicamba to protect their soybeans from post-emergent weeds, such as water hemp. Manufacturers produced dicamba to fit the needs of producers and passed the product down the supply chain to retailers that stocked their inventory for farmers to purchase. Retailers are facing overstocked warehouses of an unusable product and will likely not have sufficient supplies of alternative product to ensure farmers have the ability to protect their crop.
We urge you to immediately appeal this federal court ruling and request a stay of the court order. If a stay is placed on the decision, producers will be able to continue to apply their remaining stocks of dicamba and not have to alter their plans to protect their soybean crop. Additionally, we request that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issue an existing stocks order to provide appropriate guidance to farmers and applicators, including a Section 18 Emergency Use authority for Illinois farmers.
Soybean farmers in Illinois are counting on the EPA to stand with them and ensure that they will be able to continue to use dicamba during the 2020 planting season. The decision by the Court has caused undue chaos for producers already facing adversities due to market volatility and COVID-19. Thank you for your urgent consideration of our request to help assist soybean growers throughout Illinois. If you have any further questions regarding this, or any other matter, please do not hesitate to contact us.