Health Canada will not be following the United States in regulating the use of dicamba herbicide sprayed on growing crops.
The government agency that regulates pesticides issued a statement to Glacier FarmMedia reiterating its support for the current Canadian labels.
The American Environmental Protection Agency recently increased restrictions on the use of dicamba on growing crops, after the first season of use saw three million acres of dicamba-resistant soybeans damaged.
There appeared to be a much lower level of damage in Canada, where farmers were encouraged to only use the system with pre-plant and pre-emergent timing and where there are fewer herbicide resistant weed challenges.
The dicamba-resistant system is called Xtend and is licensed and used by Monsanto.
The EPA made application of dicamba over growing crops a “restricted use,” meaning it can only be applied by certain licensed applicators, with special training, or workers under their supervision.
Farmers will have to maintain specific records regarding the use of these products to improve compliance with label restrictions.
Maximum wind speeds for the use of the product have been reduced from 24 to 16 km/h and the time of day of allowable use has been reduced. The EPA has also made provisions for making sure there aren’t sensitive crops close to where spraying happens and changed language on cleanout of tanks to prevent cross-contamination.
The EPA says it worked with dicamba manufacturers Monsanto, BASF and DuPont on the label changes.
Health Canada is the supervising department for the Pest Management Regulatory Agency, which evaluates and approves pesticides.
It said “To protect the environment, Health Canada has already mandated that labels of dicamba products include spray drift precautions, use directions and buffer zones. The department is confident that these existing requirements address issues such as those identified in the U.S.”