OKLAHOMA CITY—American Farmers & Ranchers (AFR) Cooperative is requesting a 30-day extension on the 2021 dicamba application deadline. The current application cut-off dates set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are June 30 for soybeans and July 30 for cotton.

The EPA set the new nationwide cutoff dates for dicamba application last fall, without knowledge of future weather patterns or planting conditions. Now, several states are pushing to expand those application deadlines to accommodate late planting caused by either drought or heavy late spring rainfall, depending on the region. This combination of delayed planting and pre-set application deadlines has caused dicamba to be virtually unusable.

“This is absolutely not the right year to implement new dicamba application cut-off dates,” said AFR President Scott Blubaugh. “Much of the country is experiencing significant drought; the remaining crop production regions have experienced heavy rainfall. Both have played a part in delaying planting of the 2021 soybean and cotton crops. Because of this planting delay, the new EPA deadlines will prevent or severely limit the use of dicamba. Preventing the use of this technology unnecessarily handicaps Oklahoma’s farmers and will certainly reduce their ability to produce a viable crop. It is clear that applying arbitrary deadlines in this year of extremes is a recipe for food insecurity and market instability that could be easily avoided.”

AFR Cooperative is a membership services organization established in 1905 as Oklahoma Farmers Union. AFR provides educational, legislative and cooperative programs across the state and serves as a watchdog for Oklahoma’s family farmers and ranchers and rural communities. The organization is actively supportive of the state’s agricultural industry and rural population with membership consisting of farmers actively involved in production agriculture and non-farmers adding their voice in support of AFR principles.