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Who uses "atrazine"?

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Well-known member
Feb 11, 2005
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Home on the Range, Alberta
I am told atrazine is commonly used on corn and soyabean.

Interestingly, my earlier post re: Dr. John Giesy (environmental toxicologist) soon coming to the University of Saskatchewan to chair the new Canadian research department on "environmental toxicology", specializes in POPs or persistant organic pollutants (see definition below). Atrazine is considered a very bad POP.

Are you still using this in the USA, or even in Canada? We don't use sprays so I am not aware myself.

EU Bans Atrazine
The European Union has also officially banned atrazine, a toxic herbicide that is both a carcinogen and endocrine disruptor. The decision was made after alarming concentrations of the Syngenta chemical have been turning up in waterways all over the world. On the other side of the pond, atrazine recently received reapproval by the Bush-led EPA. Atrazine is currently the most commonly used herbicide in the US, where 60 million pounds were applied in 2003 alone. The water supply in much of the US corn belt is contaminated with atrazine and other toxic chemicals routinely used in conventional agriculture.

Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are a class of chemicals that persist in the environment, are capable of long-range transport, bioaccumulate in human and animal tissue, and have significant impacts on human health and the environment. They include such substances as dioxin, PCBs, DDT, brominated flame-retardants or tributyltin (TBT). POPs released to the environment can travel through air and water to regions far distant from their original source.
The general trend of POPs is the following:

Increased use over large areas in Europe and North America.
Concerns over their persistence, bioaccumulation and bioconcentration.
Restricted use.
Reduced emissions, as well as bans and controls.
Atrazine use is way way down due to "round up ready" crops and alot of trizene resistance in weeds after 40 years' use. Atrazine is cheap but inneffective on sandy soils, and there is so much resistance in weeds now anyway.
Atrazine works for me. I spray it on top of newly planted corn. Both field corn and sweet corn. Say planting the morning and spray that same afternoon. It holds the weeds down very well until the corn is tall enough to shade the weeds out.
I have also sprayed hay fields in the early spring to prevent the emergence of crab grass. I like crabgrass hay but it takes much longer to dry.
Atrazine is cheep and has been around for a long time. However, it moves through the soil very fast and can inter the water table quickly. My understand is that caffeine is 100 times more harmful.
The people that are urging you to quit using it are doing so such that it will not be banned and they can still use it.
As for me, I will continue to use it whenever it is the best option for my situation.
On sandy soils 1/2# in the 80W form and stay off the real sandy hills or you'll start a blowout. Atrazine is no friend to sand. If you have heavier soils 3/4# will give good control and still stay out of the creek. The atrazine problems come from the cornbelt where they have heavy soils and can get away using 4#/acre.

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