Growers to EPA: Greater clarity is needed on data tied to dicamba complaints
Grower groups including the American Soybean Association, National Cotton Council and American Farm Bureau Federation are raising questions about data released Dec. 21 by EPA regarding reported dicamba off-target complaints during the 2021 growing season. Growers are concerned with the potential of significant gaps in the data provided by the agency.
It is not clear whether complaints were submitted to multiple sources/regulators and were therefore double-counted.
It is unclear if EPA, state regulators, or others investigated complaints to verify injury or assess potential causes.
Alan Meadows, a soybean grower from Halls, Tenn., and ASA director said, “The agricultural community expects regulators to be clear with the data on which they are making decisions. It is concerning the information released provides an incomplete picture. Data that is not present in this EPA release may tell as much or more about the story than what the agency has included.”
NCC Chairman Kent Fountain, a Georgia cotton producer, said, “EPA’s report doesn’t align with what the U.S. cotton industry has seen and heard in the field. The data needs to be analyzed carefully to ensure accuracy because dicamba is too important to our industry for decisions to be made on incomplete or faulty data.”
AFBF President Zippy Duvall said, “The decisions EPA makes regarding herbicides have wide-ranging consequences for America’s farmers and ranchers, so they should be made after careful review and consideration of peer-reviewed science. The stakes are simply too high to make major label changes without due diligence from EPA to learn all the facts surrounding reported incidents. America’s farmers deserve a fair process as they work to use climate-smart practices to produce food, fuel and fiber for our nation.”
The groups will continue to review the EPA release for additional insights or information that may require clarity
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