EPA renews registration of Enlist herbicides, adds restrictions


EPA renews registration of Enlist herbicides, adds restrictions

The EPA has renewed registration of Corteva’s Enlist Duo and Enlist One herbicides for seven years, securing them as a weed control option in corn, cotton and soybeans for the 2022 growing season.

Dustin Ehler with Ehler Brothers Company, an independent ag retailer in east central Illinois, tells Brownfield the length of the renewal creates more certainty for farmers.

“That is better than the other plant growth regulator on the market that is only getting one and two year registration approvals. This means Enlist is a product that is here to stay and has proven it can be used in a safe manner for the environment and our industry.”

The renewal does come with a variety of protection measures after the agency determined two active ingredients, 2,4-D and glyphosate, pose direct risks to certain plants from pesticide runoff and animals that rely on those plants for food or habitat. But, Ehler says that is all part of the process.

“Obviously there are going to be some hurdles to jump through, but I think as an industry if we want to continue to be able to utilize these tools in our toolbox, we have to be ready to adapt.”

The label prohibits application when rainfall is expected within 48 hours and when soil can no longer absorb. Irrigation that would result in runoff within 48 hours of application is also banned.  Applicators are to minimize use when soybeans and cotton are in bloom to reduce risk to pollinators and EPA is requiring the registrant to develop mandatory training materials on the importance of pollinators and pollinator habitat. A “pick list” of runoff mitigation efforts like reduced application and vegetative filter strips must also be implemented based on soil type.

EPA is also prohibiting the use of Enlist herbicides in counties with identified risks to on-field listed species that use corn, cotton or soybean fields for diet or habitat. The agency does not expect this to impact many US farmers considering the prohibited counties only make up 3% of soybean acres, 8% of cotton acres and 2% of soybean acres nationally. Midwest counties added to the restricted use list for the 2022 label include Clay, Marshall, Polk, Redwood, Renville and Stearns Counties in Minnesota, but only for Enlist Duo.

Map from EPA ecological risk assessment on Enlist herbicides