Atrazine is Safe According to the EPA
Atrazine is safe according to an interim decision announced by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA.) This is good news for many farmers including myself. Atrazine was first released in 1958. It is still the second most popular herbicide used by farmers. Under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act all pesticides have to periodically go through a registration review process. Another words every so many years the label has to be renewed or Atrazine would be taken off the market.
Atrazine has been used by farmers almost my entire life. I was 3 years old when it was released. I have been told that those early years farmers would apply up to 4 pounds an acre of Atrazine to control weeds. Then Atrazine began to show up in drinking water which is a concern to this day! However, today we use Atrazine at much lower rates. We have found that low rates of Atrazine actually helps many other herbicides work much better!
For many years I have applied the herbicide Liberty on my corn with just a half a pound of Atrazine. In sweet corn I have used Laudis with a half a pound of Atrazine. That low rate of Atrazine helps both the Liberty and Laudis kill weeds much better. In fact, when you read the label for Atrazine you cannot apply those heavy rates that my Dad's generation did.
You do have to read the Atrazine label carefully because there are a lot of restrictions. One of them is you have to stay 66 away from drainage ditches, rivers and other surface waters. In the picture you can see my solution to that restriction. I fill the sprayer with the other herbicides, take the Atrazine out to the field, spray along the drainage ditch and then mix in the Atrazine in to spray the rest of the field!
I hope all farmers are being responsible using Atrazine so that we do not see it taken off the market. So, this was good news but I have a feeling there may be law suits filed trying to take Atrazine off the market?