ISSUE DATE: 01/18/2010
By Jennifer M. Latzke
In the 1950s scientists from a small chemical company discovered a class of herbicides-called triazines-that effectively controlled a list of broadleaf weeds that had plagued farmers for years. In 1958, that company, which would later be known as Syngenta, registered atrazine. Today, more than 45 pre-mix products contain atrazine, and it is used in more than 60 countries around the world as a critical component in conservation tillage systems.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates 76.4 million pounds of atrazine are applied each year. Of that, 86 percent is used on corn acres, 10 percent on sorghum, and 3 percent on sugarcane. Three-quarters of all field corn acreage in the United States, according to the EPA, is treated with atrazine. In fact, the EPA estimates without the use of atrazine, corn growers would incur a loss of about 9 bushels per acre, plus the cost of a replacement herbicide. This would amount to a loss of about $28 per acre, or $1.6 billion of lost revenue each year, nationwide.
In 50 years of evaluation and scientific peer review, atrazine has consistently been found to be a safe chemical for use in no-till and conservation tillage farming practices.
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Hay producers sought for state directory
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