Farm Bureau members are encouraged to take advantage of the Environmental Protection Agency’s extension of the atrazine review comment period, now open through Oct. 7.
Farmers’ voices are vital so don’t put this off — comment as soon as possible. Urge the EPA to follow science in its decision-making and help save one of American farmers’ most widely used herbicides.
Farm Bureau members can take action by visiting bit.ly/22MICrops or texting MICROPS to the number 52886.
EPA’s proposal would restrict all atrazine uses, including:
- No application on saturated fields
- No application while raining or when rain is likely within 48 hours
- No aerial application
- Reduced corn and sorghum application rate to 2 pounds per acre annually
As proposed, these restrictions would apply to more than 3.5 million acres of Michigan corn, wheat, Christmas trees, sod, sorghum and more. Corn and sorghum growers would also see additional mitigation measures depending on their watershed.
The EPA estimates replacing atrazine would costs farmers more than $40 per acre before accounting for reduced yields.
“It is critical for our members to make their voices heard and tell the EPA hear how devastating these changes would be,” said Laura Campbell, is Michigan Farm Bureau’s senior conservation and regulatory relations specialist.
More than 90 members of Congress, including several from Michigan, have shared their concerns in directly to EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan.
Their letter states the EPA has relied on “invalid studies and questionable conclusions” in its decision to reopen the registration for atrazine, calling the move a “significant change which contradicts previous overwhelming evidence” that supported the finalized registration.
“For nearly 60 years, atrazine has been a reliable and proven herbicide for effective and efficient sustainable farming practices,” continued the letter, which asks EPA to submit proposed revisions for atrazine for a formal review by a panel under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act.
“We believe that food security is national security,” the lawmakers agreed. “Crop protection tools registered through FIFRA are vital to the sustainability, efficiency, and effectiveness of our nation’s food supply, which is why the integrity of a science-driven FIFRA process should not be undermined.”