Renewing the registration of Atrazine, the most popular herbicide in the United States, will start next year. The University of Missouri Extension says more than 500,000 farmers use Atrazine to control grass and broadleaf weeds on 50 percent of the country’s cornfields.
The Environmental Protection Agency reviews products every 15 years after a lengthy process involving public opinion and scientific data. Closer scrutiny of Atrazine use comes when it appears in drinking water supplies at higher rates than allowed by EPA.
The University says farmers can do their part to help minimize scrutiny over Atrazine and prevent runoff by applying Atrazine when weather conditions are right and using proper land management practices. University officials also say, if Atrazine is running off fields and into water systems, it also means farmer are losing money and weed control. Atrazine’s last registration received approval in 2003.