Agriculture groups in Nebraska say limiting a widely used pesticide will make it useless.
A draft assessment from the EPA on Atrazine shows the agency has concerns with the chemical’s impact on birds, mammals, and fish.
Scott Merritt with the agriculture industry’s Triazine Network says allowing only eight ounces per acre of the pesticide is too little.
“It would, in fact, put a de facto ban on Atrazine in almost 75% of the corn acres in this state,” Merritt tells Nebraska Radio Network. “We think this is a real concern that EPA is even headed down this road.”
He says Nebraska farmers typically use just two pounds per acre and follow current use guidelines.
“You can’t use it around water. There are setbacks in the application of it – have been for a decade – and we think those are very reasonable,” Merritt says.
In speaking with corn farmers around the state, Merritt says they are estimating per acre cost increase between $30 and $60.
He says farm groups and individual producers will be making their feelings known to the EPA.
Environmental groups, including the Natural Resources Defense Council, have spent years urging the EPA to ban the use of Atrazine.
The public comment period is open until August 5th.