It’s ironic, reports the National Corn Growers Association, that the EPA would be critical of a product that helps reduce erosion and runoff and protects our soil and water. But the fact of the matter is that the EPA has released a risk assent for atrazine, effectively banning the product.
NCGA First VP elect Kevin Skunes from North Dakota talked about the issue during the 2016 Farm Progress Show. Back in June of this year, EPA released its draft ecological risk assessment for atrazine as part of the herbicide’s re-registration process. Skunes says that if the assessment stands, then atrazine will effectively be banned from use. This is a big negative for the ag industry, because, says Skunes, the herbicide plays an important role in conservation cropping systems that help reduce soil erosion.
In addition, says Skunes, there are no other herbicides that do what atrazine does in relation to combating weed resistance. Regarding EPA’s recommendation to limit the use of atrazine, Skunes, says, “It’s just a horrible decision on their part in my opinion because they are not basing their decision on sound science. There are over 7,000 studies out there that show atrazine is safe as an effective crop protection tool.” He noted that even the World Health Organization has studies showing atrazine is safe.
The NCGA is asking farmers to make their voices heard at wwww.ncga.com/atz. The deadline for comments in October 4. Learn more about EPA’s atrazine assessment by listening to my interview with Kevin Skunes: [wpaudio url=”http://traffic.libsyn.com/zimmcomm/fps-16-skunes.mp3″ text=”Interview with Kevin Skunes, NCGA”]