The Nebraska Corn Growers Association (NeCGA) welcomed an announcement on Friday from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on an interim decision regarding the reregistration of atrazine. After over 60 years of use and 7,000 research studies EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler declared atrazine, along with propazine and simazine, safe for continued use in controlling resistant weeds. This interim decision is a major milestone for Nebraska’s corn farmers.
“The announcement is a key step forward for Nebraska’s corn farmers during a time of economic uncertainty,” said Kelly Brunkhorst, executive director of the Nebraska Corn Growers Association. “Without this decision, costs of replacement weed control products would add between an additional $29 to nearly $60 an acre for producers. Something our industry just can’t afford.”
Friday’s announcement concludes the registration review process where EPA is required to periodically re-evaluate existing pesticides. During this process, NeCGA’s grassroots efforts submitted thousands of comments from Nebraska corn farmers in support of the product. The next step for the triazines is a draft biological evaluation required under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), which is expected to be published in October.
“This is not the last time that the EPA will review atrazine. On behalf of our members, NeCGA will keep a watchful eye going forward, ensuring that agriculture has a voice in the process and that the agencies involved utilize high-quality, scientific studies,” said Brunkhorst. “The EPA stated again today that they will use the best available research when making determinations. Something we have long advocated for.”