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Best of NAMA 2022

By Margy Eckelkamp, The Scoop magazine

On June 30, EPA released proposed revisions to the Agency's September 2020 atrazine interim decision.

The agency is proposing the following five changes to the atrazine herbicide labels in order to decrease atrazine runoff from treated fields:

Prohibit application when soils are saturated or above field capacity (i.e., the soil's ability to retain water); Prohibit application during rain or when a storm event, likely to produce runoff from the treated area, is forecasted to occur within 48 hours following application;

Prohibit aerial applications of all formulations; and
Restrict annual application rates to 2 pounds of active ingredient or less per acre per year or less for applications to sorghum, field corn, and sweet corn.

An additional "picklist" to labels requiring growers to select a combination of application rate reductions and/or runoff control measures when using atrazine in certain watersheds

The picklist method is said to help growers select runoff control practices that are the least burdensome.

The watersheds where growers must adhere to the picklist requirements are those watersheds with atrazine concentrations that exceed the CE-LOC of 3.4 μg/L-the EPA says this is approximately 18% of total watersheds nationwide. The number of mitigation practices required increases with the higher predicted atrazine concentration and depends on crop, geographic region and field topography. It does not apply to fields in watersheds with atrazine concentrations below 3.4 μg/L.

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