Farmers have less than a week left to submit comments on the latest proposal regarding atrazine by the Environmental Protection Agency. The proposal would overturn the recent reregistration of atrazine finalized in 2020, and as agriculture leaders say, would severely limit the use of atrazine.
Gary Marshall, retired Missouri Corn Growers Association CEO and co-chair of the Triazine Network, says farmers should make their voice heard.
“The deadline for comments is October 7. So, if you’re a farmer out there or you’re concerned about your food supply, this would be a great time to make some comments to the EPA. Just telling them that, hey, the science is sound, it’s been sound for a long time, it’s in atrazine’s favor, the product has been out there for 65 years. It doesn’t cause any problems to human health, animals, fish, birds. The only thing it does is help control weeds.”
At issue is the aquatic ecosystem concentration equivalent level of concern, set at 15 parts per billion in 2020 by the EPA. Environmental activist groups retaliated with a lawsuit. The EPA now proposes the aquatic ecosystem concentration equivalent level of concern at 3.4 parts per billion. Marshall calls the proposal unprecedented.
“And as far as I know, this is the first time ever that a product went through the entire process, been reregistered, and actually then EPA comes back and says, oh, never mind, there’s a court case out here, so we might want to take a look at it one more time. But what they’re really intending to do is to make the use so limited in what a farmer can do, you end up losing the product.”
And, if the proposal is made final, it will impact farmers’ pocketbook.
“We used to say it’s $30 an acre to switch costs and then you got to switch to a product it isn’t quite as good a product, so it’s does a poor job of controlling weeds. You add those two things together, its 30 bucks an acre. Now, it’s more like $40 an acre because of the increase in corn prices and the increased cost of other products beyond atrazine. So, for a farmer, it’s a big deal to his bottom line or her bottom line.”
Marshall encourages corn farmers to submit comments to the EPA via fightepa.com.
Source: NAFB News Service