The Environmental Protection Agency has approved a Monsanto dicamba weed killer for use with soybeans.
The company announced Wednesday that the agency had given the green light to its XtendiMax herbicide for use with its Roundup Ready 2Xtend soybeans and Bollgard II Xtend Flex cotton. The herbicide will now be able to be part of Monsanto’s Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System in the U.S. in 2017.
Although dicamba is decades old, Monsanto’s new dicamba-based XtendiMax herbicide is said to be less prone to vaporizing and drifting off target.
Some environmental groups voiced criticism for the EPA approval. The Center for Biological Diversity said the approval would lead to increased pesticide use which could harm plant and animal species which are threatened.
Monsanto spokesperson Kyel Richard said that the company still needs to secure approval from individual states before the product can be marketed to farmers. But he says the company plans to have it available by the start of next growing season.