Western Illinois University along with a master's degree in agronomy from the University of Wisconsin.
The following commentary does not necessarily reflect the views of AgWeb or Farm Journal Media. The opinions expressed below are the author's own.
The Syngenta Field Report features information and experts from Syngenta sharing observations about issues growers are dealing with in the fields.
My company, Syngenta, has been recongizing 50 years of atrazine use. There are many reasons atrazine has remained a weed control staple for so long – it increases yield and saves money.
For example, a study evaluating the impact of atrazine on corn yields showed that during the 20-year period from 1986 and 2005, the average corn yield was 5.1 percent higher with atrazine than without. And the U.S. EPA estimates that farming without atrazine could cost corn growers $28 per acre due to yield loss and the use of more expensive herbicides.
In 2003, the EPA also said: “The total or national economic impact resulting from the loss of atrazine to control grass and broadleaf weeds in corn, sorghum and sugar cane would be in excess of $2 billion per year if atrazine were unavailable to growers.” (U.S. EPA, Interim Reregistration Eligibility Decision, January 2003)
Growers know from experience the value atrazine brings to their operation. Please leave me a note about how atrazine helps you.
At Syngenta, we take the safety of our products very seriously, and atrazine is no exception. Many government and regulatory authorities around the world have studied atrazine thoroughly—to ensure its safe use to people and the environment—and have given it favorable reviews. These include the World Health Organization, Australia, Canada, the UK (representing the European Union), the State of Minnesota and for the last 50+ years, the US EPA and its predecessor agencies. Atrazine is the most closely examined herbicide in the marketplace, with some 6,500 studies in EPA’s database, and we stand behind its safety.
No, atrazine is poison for people and the environment. It's just a matter of time (a short time, I hope) before legislators are able to impose a ban on this one.