Monsanto’s new dicamba-based weed killers were approved for use this week by the Environmental Protection Agency. The weed killers are designed for use on next generation biotech soybean and cotton varieties. Reuters says the EPA approved the XtendiMax herbicide for in-crop use on Roundup Ready 2 Xtend biotech soybeans, which are designed to tolerate applications of glyphosate and dicamba. The agency also approved Bollgard 2 XtendFlex Cotton, which will also tolerate glyphosate and dicamba as well as glufosinate. Monsanto is still waiting for EPA approval on its Roundup Extend herbicide, which is also a glyphosate and dicamba blend. Farmers have been using dicamba for years to kill weeds before they plant crops. Up until this week, farmers haven’t been able to use the product on growing crops. Environmental groups were not happy with the approval. The Center for Biological Diversity says the ruling will lead to a sharp increase in pesticide use with the potential for harming threatened animal and plant species. Monsanto says the Xtend product platform will be its largest technology launch in history. The company expects that soybean variety will be planted on 15 million acres next year.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting news service.