Nebraska Corn Growers Association Says EPA Draft Report on Atrazine “Stomps Science into the Dirt”

DECATUR, NEBRASKA—Nebraska farmers’ ability to use one of their most effective weed control strategies is in jeopardy, thanks to a draft report issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The EPA report proposes to dramatically reduce the acceptable levels of atrazine, an herbicide used in growing the majority of the corn and sorghum in Nebraska and the nation.  Agricultural groups across the nation, including the Nebraska Corn Growers Association, have expressed outrage at the proposed changes, noting that EPA is basing its recommendations on studies that even its own scientific advisors found flawed.

“Federal law requires EPA to make its determinations based on credible scientific evidence and that is clearly not the case here,” said Larry Mussack, a Decatur, Nebr. farmer and president of the Nebraska Corn Growers Association.  “Atrazine is a safe and effective crop management tool for farmers for combating the spread of resistant weeds.”

According to Mussack, more than 7,000 scientific studies have found atrazine to be safe, making it one of the most rigorously tested crop management tools in the world.  “It’s especially disturbing that EPA is stomping science into the dirt and basing its ecological risk assessment for atrazine on studies that their own Science Advisory Panel pronounced as ‘flawed’ just four years ago.”

EPA is recommending the the level of concern (LOC) for aquatic life be set at 3.4 parts per billion (ppb) on a 60-day average, down from the 10 ppb the EPA currently recommends.  However, a diverse universe of scientific evidence points to a safe aquatic life LOC at 25 ppb or greater.

The proposed levels would cut average field application rates down to 8 ounces or one cup per acre.  An acre is about the size of a football field.  “At the proposed levels, atrazine would be rendered useless in controlling weeds in a large portion of the Corn Belt, effectively eliminating the product,” Mussack said.

Once the EPA’s draft report is published in the Federal Register, EPA will begin collecting comments for 60 days.  “We will be sharing information on how Nebraska farmers and other agricultural advocates can submit comment once the details are available,” Mussack said.  “This is another example of EPA overstepping its authority and making proposals that fly in the face of sound science.  Farmers need to speak up.”


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Nebraska Corn Specialty License Plates

Thank you to everyone who has submitted an application for the new specialty plates! The Nebraska DMV has begun printing the plates and we have started seeing them on vehicles around the state. You can put your plates on passenger vehicles, pickups, farm trucks, semi-trailers, motorcycles, trailers and mobile homes.

Still wanting a plate? Its not too late! Just mail your completed application form with payment of $70 per application to the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles Driver and Vehicle Records Division P.O. Box 94789 Lincoln, NE 68509-4789. To download an application form, click the link below. You can also contact NeCGA at (402) 438-6459 or email mwrich@necga.org.

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