The Environmental Protection Agency released its draft report on ecological risks of Atrazine in June of this year as part of its re-registration process for the herbicide. If the assessment recommendations are allowed to stand, farmers would essentially lose access to atrazine, and that would cost farmers a lot of money. The National Corn Growers Association says the EPA report could cost the industry up to $2.5 billion in yield losses and increased production costs, all at a time when incomes are down sharply. A 2012 University of Chicago study showed that farming without atrazine would cost farmers an extra $59 per acre. That is a large boost in costs when farm incomes have dropped 55 percent in the past two years. A jump in costs that high would not only affect producers but would have ramifications across the entire agribusiness industry.
NCGA First Vice President Wesley Spurlock of Texas is urging farmers to contact the EPA and voice their concerns. Atrazine has been a mainstay of corn, sorghum, and sugar cane farmers for 50 years, and some of the toughest weeds are resistant to other herbicides but not to atrazine.
Source: NAFB News Service