RFA Ethanol Podcast

EPA Announces Interim Approval of Atrazine

Cindy Zimmerman

EPA’s Wheeler (far right) meets with Missouri farmers (photo credit MCGA)

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler joined farmers and ranchers at an outdoor round table in Missouri where he announced the interim decisions for the triazine herbicides atrazine, propazine and simazine.

“The benefits of atrazine in agriculture are high,” said Wheeler. “If we were to lose that, it would cost the corn growers between 475 and 775 million dollars annually.”

EPA Admin Wheeler sound bite on atrazine (:17)

Atrazine, propazine and simazine are widely used in the United States to control a variety of grasses and broadleaf weeds. As the second most widely used herbicide in the United States, atrazine is used on about 75 million acres of agricultural crop land every year, including more than half of the nation’s corn crops.

According to the Triazine Network, a coalition of agricultural organizations that advocates for science-based regulatory decisions, this interim decision is a major milestone. “Today’s news provides much needed regulatory certainty for farmers during a time when few things are certain,” said Missouri Corn Growers Association CEO Gary Marshall, who chairs the Triazine Network.

National Corn Growers Association president Kevin Ross of Iowa notes that the review process is not over yet because atrazine must still undergo an Endangered Species Act review. “As a part of that review, EPA must publish a draft biological evaluation of atrazine. NCGA will continue to work with EPA and hold the agency to its promise to use the best available research when drafting and publishing atrazine’s biological evaluation.”

Audio, Corn, Crop Protection, EPA