CORN LEADERS TALK SHOP AT IL STATE FAIR

Tricia Braid

Aug, 16, 2016  |  Today's News

Today is Ag Day at the State Fair, and despite the rainy weather and soggy parking lots, leaders from across the State joined together for the Ag Day Brunch hosted by Illinois Department of Agriculture Director, Raymond Poe. Illinois Corn Growers Association were on the fairgrounds, too, talking with farmers about their concerns and ICGA’s priorities. They also worked to collect hundreds of comments to send to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency about atrazine. If you haven’t already, please go to www.fightepa.com and submit your comment now. Hundreds of thousands of comments are coming in AGAINST atrazine from anti-ag groups. Your comment needs to be counted, too.

Did you know that?:

EPA’s draft report on the ecological assessment of the herbicide atrazine contains numerous data and methodological errors that must be corrected.

The draft assessment does not adhere to federal law requiring EPA to make determinations based on credible scientific evidence. The agency used flawed studies, discounted several rigorous, high-quality scientific studies and didn’t adhere to the science.

Against the advice of EPA’s own Science Advisory Panels (SAPs), the assessment relies on scientifically invalid aquatic plant and invertebrate studies to define the aquatic level of concerns.

The assessment estimates “inflated hypothetical risks” that have not been observed in the real world in more than 55 years of closely-scrutinized product use.

The comment period is open through the end of the day on October 5, 2016.

  • Take action now! At www.fightepa.com to submit your comment on atrazine. It’s an easy and quick process.
     
  • Atrazine is a proven safe and effective crop management tool when applied correctly. EPA should base their decisions on sound science.
     
  • Illinois farmers use more atrazine than in any other state, making this a particularly important issue here in the Land of Lincoln.
    • We apply atrazine to over 8.3 million acres of corn in Illinois.
    • Without atrazine as an option, it would cost Illinois corn farmers nearly an additional half a billion dollars each year in other herbicide costs. (actual figure at $59 an acre is $491,646,343)
       
  • Farmers cannot afford to lose access to atrazine. Taking it away will have a ripple effect throughout the ag economy.
    • Farming without atrazine could cost farmers up to $59 per acre, according to a 2012 analysis by the University of Chicago. That could mean the difference between corn farmers making a profit or loss on their crop.
    • Corn weed management programs with atrazine increase corn yields by an average of 7 bushels per acre when compared to no herbicide applications.
    • All told, farming without atrazine could cost the corn industry more than $2.5 billion per year, due to yield loss and less effective products.
       
  • Atrazine is a key ingredient in nearly 100 herbicide mixes farmers use.
    • Atrazine one of the best tools on the market today for combatting resistant weeds. Some of the most destructive weeds are resistant to other pesticides, but not to atrazine.
    • For more than 50 years, atrazine has been a mainstay of corn farmers for its proven control of a broad range of destructive weeds that waste water and nutrients.
    • Effective pest management requires multiple modes of action. While some weeds have developed a resistance to certain herbicides, there is no massive resistance to atrazine. Taking away atrazine as a tool puts more pressure on other herbicides that could make weed resistance problems worse.
       
  • The EPA’s assessment sets a dangerous precedent for all crop protection tools.
    • EPA is not basing their risk assessment on sound science, and is actually ignoring its own scientific experts on this matter. More than 7,000 studies have found atrazine to be safe.
    • If EPA’s recommendations in this risk assessment stand, it will effectively ban the use of atrazine.
    • If EPA does not use sound science in evaluating atrazine, other crop protection tools are also at risk.