Corteva to pull its dicamba herbicide from North American markets

17:18 PM | March 2, 2021 | Robert Birkett

Corteva Agriscience is to discontinue sales of its herbicide, FeXapan (dicamba), in the US and Canada. The product, along with other dicamba-based herbicides, has been embroiled in legal disputes over alleged damage from spray drift.

The controversy dates back over three years when the US EPA issued a conditional registration for a Bayer legacy company Monsanto herbicide, which growers alleged had damaged non-target crops across some 3.6 million acres (1.4 million hectare) in one season. That prompted the EPA to adopt industry-recommended label changes that reclassified XtendiMax—and similar dicamba herbicide—as "restricted use" and impose additional training requirements, extending to FeXapan the following year. Last June, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit vacated the registrations of Fexapan and other dicamba herbicides, agreeing with environmentalists that the EPA had failed to fully assess the potential environmental harm from the pesticides. Subsequently, the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit denied a request by manufacturers to reconsider the order to vacate the products.

In 2017, Corteva legacy business DuPont received US approval for FeXapan for use on Monsanto’s genetically modified herbicide-tolerant Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans and its herbicide-tolerant and insect-resistant Bollgard II XtendFlex cotton.

Corteva says that it sees “strong demand and broad adoption” of Enlist technology for seed and Enlist herbicide crop protection solutions, and that it will focus on its Enlist weed control system. It will also market dicamba-tolerant crops while customers access other dicamba-based herbicides.

“Our commercial team will continue to support our customers who have selected Roundup Ready 2 Xtend technology from a Corteva seed brand. Those customers may use dicamba herbicides offered through other brands, while still accessing other soybean herbicides from Corteva and benefitting from the strong yields of Corteva brand dicamba-tolerant soybean products,” the company says.