EPA clears popular weed killer used by cotton farmers

EPA clears popular weed killer used by cotton farmers

BULLOCH COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - Farmers from across the Southeast had a keen eye on a big announcement Tuesday afternoon in Bulloch County. National environmental leaders gave them the green light to use one chemical that courts had tried to ban earlier this year.

Cotton farmers aren’t finished with this year’s crop but say the EPA’s decision couldn’t come at a better time as they begin to look ahead to next season.

Lee Cromley knows how much chemicals can help a cotton crop survive. A federal court ruling in June sought to ban a weed killer cotton farmers use called Dicamba.

“It absolutely stunned us and stopped us in our tracks. We had a product that was effective and environmentally positive for us as growers,” Cromley said.

Leaders from the EPA fought the ruling and got an injunction that let farmers finish using it for this season. The head of the EPA announced they’d tested Dicamba and determined it could still be used safely. Their announcement today allows farmers to use it again next year.

“EPA is celebrating its 50th year this year and over the last four years, we have done a lot to improve the way environmental regulation and environmental laws work in this country,” EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler.

Cromley and others said the decision helps them better plan for how they can grow their crop next year and beyond.

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