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Best of NAMA 2022

By Mindy Ward, Missouri Ruralist magazine

Commodity groups, agriculture organizations and universities are sounding the alarm again over the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed changes to atrazine labels and its effect on farmers.

"If approved, this could be a substantial change in the way we use atrazine in Missouri," Kevin Bradley, University of Missouri Extension weed specialist, said in a news release. The EPA extended the comment period on the proposed changes. However, if approved, they would not take effect until the 2024 growing season at the earliest.

Atrazine is an herbicide that is used to kill broadleaf and grassy weeds. According to a Missouri Farm Bureau news release, atrazine is used in more than 90 herbicide formulations across the U.S. The proposed changes would affect more than 85% of the state's corn acres.

The Missouri Corn Growers Association estimates the cost to replace atrazine is $42 per acre. The organization noted that farmers will be "forced to use alternative herbicides and will face yield loss due to decreased pest control."

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