The US Environmental Protection Agency approved the usage of the dicamba-based herbicide XtendiMax with VaporGrip Technology, on Wednesday, although the event went almost unnoticed by the media and activists, who have been otherwise preoccupied with the US Presidential elections’ fallout.
The company still needs to get approval from individual states before the product can be sold to farmers, but according to Monsanto’s spokesman Kyel Richard, it should be in the market by the start of next growing season.
— Lori Ann Burd (@LoriAnnBurd) November 9, 2016
Dicamba is a decades-old herbicide, proven to be extremely volatile and drift-prone, vaporizing from treated fields and potentially affecting neighboring crops. Dicamba functions basically by increasing a plant’s growth rate to the point that it outgrows its nutrient capabilities and dies.
The weed killer has seen a surge in usage this year, since Monsanto’s new dicamba-resistant seeds entered the market before XtendiMax. Monsanto introduced Bollgard II XtendFlex cotton in 2015 and Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans were introduced earlier this year.