Additional time to comment on triazine product re-registrations
Producers of crops such as corn and sorghum have a lot to lose if the Environmntal Protection Agency removes the registration or drastically alters the labeled use of triazine herbicides. Farmers are being encouraged to express their opinions during the comment period on re-registration of atrazine, simazine and propazine.
The comment period has been extended until October 4, 2016. The additional time reflects a 60-day extension of the public comment period by the Environmental Protection Agency following requests by several
agricultural organizations and House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-Minn.). Argument for the extension was that farmers have been busy with field work and not thinking about much more than planting their crops.
"We appreciate EPA's recognizing growers are currently in the busiest season of planting, managing and harvesting the nation's food, fiber and fuel stocks," said James Born, National Sorghum Producers (NSP) chairman and farmer at Booker, Texas. "Growers will now have adequate time to thoroughly review and respond to the draft EPA assessment of these important crop protection tools."
The NSP explained that EPA's Draft Triazine Ecological Risk Assessments, released on June 2, determined the herbicides atrazine, simazine and propazine pose an ecological risk to plants and animals. As a result, proposed level of concern (LOC) for aquatic life would be lowered to about one-third of the current level for atrazine, slashing average field application rates down to 8 ounces (half pound) per acre.
Ag groups are upset by the methodology used to arrive at recommendations that depart from sound science, including 50 years of use and almost 7,000 science-based studies consistently demonstrating atrazine's safety. The recommendations also are different from EPA's own Scientific Advisory Panels. Growers sharing why these herbicides are essential to their operations might have some impact on the EPA.
Tim Lust, NSP CEO, said, "Without action, the proposed restrictions on atrazine in the EPA's assessment would render the top herbicide used in sorghum useless in controlling weeds on 90 percent of the acres in the U.S."
Corn growers of the nation are in agreement with the sorghum growers about the need for triazine herbicides, and growers must submit comments on the draft assessments by October 4, 2016. After receiving and reviewing comments, the EPA will amend the assessments, as appropriate, according to the agency.
An information center provided by the NSP is at http://sorghumgrowers.com/sorghumalert/.