Northwest Iowa — Northwest Iowa farmers would be drastically limited on the amount of a popular herbicide that they would be able to apply to their fields if the Environmental Protection Agency has its way.
Iowa Senator Joni Ernst says she’s worried about the negative impact the EPA’s proposed rule on atrazine could have on farmers. Ernst says science supports the safe use of atrazine in controlling broadleaf weeds, especially in corn crops.
Atrazine is one of the most widely used herbicides in the United States, but it was banned in the European Union in 2004, when groundwater levels exceeded limits. If the EPA’s proposed use level becomes the standard, analysts say the herbicide could no longer be used effectively and it would essentially represent a ban on the use of atrazine. Ernst says Congress would oppose that move.
The deadline to submit comments to the EPA is October 4th. Without atrazine, some estimate farm input costs could increase by 30-to-60 dollars per acre. Farmers would also lose a valuable tool for weed management and conservation.