Report Shows Atrazine Value

Sweet corn producers rely on this crop protection product heavily. Re-assessment could push up production costs.

Published on: May 14, 2010

Atrazine has been on the market since 1958 and is perhaps the most researched, and re-evaluated, crop protection product still on the market today. Yet, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, is again considering a review of the science of this product. A new report on the role of atrazine in sweet corn production offers insight into the product's value.

Sweet corn growers will lose their principal method of weed control and be faced with rising expenses if use of the herbicide were eliminated as a result of the latest re-evaluation by EPA. That according to a new report issued by a group of researchers.

In the article "Significance of Atrazine in Sweet Corn Weed Management Systems" researchers have, for the first time, documented the tools used to control weeds in this food crop and determined that atrazine is applied to two-thirds of the fields studied.

Loss of the product would have series consequences, especially to growers whose fields are particularly weedy and to growers moving away from soil cultivation. In addition, according to the report, other herbicides registered in sweet corn perform better when applied with atrazine.

The report was prepared by Martin Williams, ecologist, USDA-Agricultural Research Service, University of Illinois; Chris Boerboom, professor of agronomy, University of Wisconsin-Madison; and Tom Rabaey, IPM specialist, General Mills Agricultural Research. Check out the complete report HERE.