NCGA president says EPA’s proposed label change could restrict access to atrazine


NCGA president says EPA’s proposed label change could restrict access to atrazine

The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing multiple label changes to atrazine, potentially restricting access to the crop protection tool. Iowa farmer and National Corn Growers Association president Chris Edgington says the loss of atrazine would be a devastating blow to productivity. “I really feel like there are people who don’t want us to use crop chemistries,” he says.  “They don’t want us to control weeds and they want us to go back and bring the moldboard plow out and watching the dust fly.”

He tells Brownfield if approved, the proposed levels would render several crop-protection products unusable in 2023.  “They continue to want us to do less tillage, less environmental impact,” he says.  “And yet they’re taking a big tool out of the toolbox.” The proposal now enters a 60-day public comment period, and Edgington says the EPA to aggressed to do another 90-day analysis.

EPA is proposing additional mitigation to control aquatic plant communities.  The following measures for all atrazine labels in order to decrease atrazine runoff from treated fields: 

  • Prohibit application when soils are saturated or above field capacity (i.e., the soil’s ability to retain water); 
  • Prohibit application during rain or when a storm event, likely to produce runoff from the treated area, is forecasted to occur within 48 hours following application;  
  • Prohibit aerial applications of all formulations; and  
  • Restrict annual application rates to 2 pounds of active ingredient or less per acre per year or less for applications to sorghum, field corn, and sweet corn. 

In addition, EPA is also proposing a “picklist” to labels that would require growers to select a combination of application rates and/or runoff control measures when using atrazine in watersheds with atrazine concentrations that exceed the CE-LOC of 3.4 μg/L. 

AUDIO: Chris Edgington, National Corn Growers Association