I’ve been on the road the past few days meeting w/ growers across the mid-south helping them book their crop protection products for the 2024 season. To be honest, guys haven’t been as motivated to book early this season for a variety of reasons, but as of 6:30 PM, yesterday that all changed when a federal court made a decision to ban 3 popular dicamba products. Here are some recent links related to this decision…
- US court bans three weedkillers and finds EPA broke law in approval process
- Court Vacates Dicamba Registrations
- Industry Reacts to Arizona Court’s ‘Disappointing’ Dicamba Decision
- Judge bars ‘over-the-top’ dicamba spraying on farms. ‘Significant setback’ for Bayer?
- US court cancels approvals for widely used dicamba weedkillers
Situations like this are just one reason I love what I do… it’s not anything to do w/ where I stand on the dicamba issue itself. I’m smart enough not to ever offer an opinion on that publicly… that would be like talking politics at Thanksgiving or being raised in a Razorback home and pulling for Ole Miss. The part that I enjoy is being able to help growers take the hand they are dealt and helping them pivot and find the best solutions for their operations from the options available. We did the same thing a few years ago when we had the glyphosate shortage during the covid supply chain disruption.
For those not familiar, Dicamba is a chemical that can be used over the top of certain seed varieties that are resistant to this technology to control weeds that have grown resistant to conventional products and practices, namely Pigweed. Depending who you ask, it has worked pretty well with the exception of widely publicized cases of drift and damage to neighboring crops. There are three products at the center of this issue: Engenia, xTendimax, and Tavium. These products are widely used by growers in the mid-south.
Well, as of yesterday these product labels have been pulled by a federal court in Arizona. This isn’t the first time this has happened either, but in the past there was a later ruling that temporarily reinstated the labels for use by growers so everything sort of worked out in the end. This recent ruling might be different because it’s actually accusing the EPA of mishandling this issue on their end. I’m not a legal expert. Therefore, I won’t weigh in on what I think is going to happen here because I honestly have no idea, but I’m going to share what I’m seeing on the ground in terms of reactionary movements by growers and others in the industry over the past 24 hours.
Stock Up on Glufosinate While You Can?…
Since this ruling was handed down, a lot of growers have reached out to me at all hours and have been interested in locking down Glufosinate as an alternative to these banned products. It works really well and my phone has been blowing up because our price at FBN is really competitive. We also have 0% interest opportunities for qualified growers to go along with this offering which is not easy to find in this current financial climate.
Are Glufosinate Prices Going Up?
From where I’m sitting this is an impossible question to answer because I don’t personally have that visibility across the industry. The laws of supply and demand do apply- so take from that what you will. I can tell you that I have personally seen an instance this morning with a local competitor that has raised their prices on Glufosinate. Could that have been a planned price increase, or is it reactionary? I can’t tell you…
Will there be enough Glufosinate to go around?
Again, I don’t have that level of visibility across the industry. However, I can tell you that that majority of communications I have had over the past 24 hours have been in relation to Glufosinate. I can also confirm that I have personally booked multiple truckloads of product in the last 24 hours. Yes, this is all reactionary, and there are a lot of things that can happen over the next few days. You can do with this information what you will… we have one of the best prices in the industry at FBN right now and we also have 0% financing opportunities so naturally my phone is blowing up.
Enlist E3 Soybeans as an alternative?
The only viable, widely-available alternative to the dicamba soybeans on the market right now are the Enlist E3 products. This is something we offer at FBN and I’ve had more interest in those products in the last 24 hours than any other time I can remember. This product allows for multiple technologies to be used over the top for control of the same problems that these dicamba technologies addressed.
Our FBN Team is Ready to Assist…
I’m currently setup at my office in the lobby of The Cotton House in Cleveland, Mississippi with several members of our ground team working with growers and answering any questions they might have regarding alternative solutions for the 2024 season. I had the opportunity to have breakfast this morning with a couple of growers faced with this situation and more are scheduled to pop in today as well as this evening. We are all in this together!