Growers across the country will have until October 4, 2016, to submit comments regarding the re-registration of Atrazine, Simazine and Propazine. The additional time reflects a 60-day extension of the public comment period by the Environmental Protection Agency following requests by the National Sorghum Producers, other agricultural organizations and House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-Minn.).
“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,” James Born, NSP chairman and farmer from Booker, Texas, said. “We thank Ranking Member Peterson for his supportive efforts in securing the extended comment period. Growers will now have adequate time to thoroughly review and respond to the draft EPA assessment of these important crop protection tools.”
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.
However, the methodology used to arrive at these recommendations departs from sound science, including 50 years of use and almost 7,000 science-based studies consistently demonstrating atrazine’s safety as well as the recommendations of EPA’s own Scientific Advisory Panels.
“Logic and science will not return to EPA’s risk assessment process without growers sharing why these tools are essential to their operations,” 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.”
Other agricultural organizations joined NSP in requesting the 60-day extension for public comment, including National Corn Growers Association, Triazine Network, National Farmers Union, Texas Grain Sorghum Association, Missouri Corn Growers Association and Kansas Corn Growers Association.
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. Learn more or submit comments at http://sorghumgrowers.com/
National Sorghum Producers represents U.S. sorghum producers and serves as the voice of the sorghum industry coast to coast through legislative representation, regulatory representation and education. To learn more about NSP, visit www.sorghumgrowers.com.