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Proposed atrazine restrictions muddies waters for farmers

A Kansas farmer says proposed restrictions of atrazine could reverse advances producers have made in conservation.

Rick Schlender tells Brownfield the input has improved several technologies like no-till farming by using sound science. “What rate are we using? I’ve worked in a water shed where we have to reduce atrazine that’s going out there.  It’s really critical because it gives the synergy effect to other pesticides that we have.  We don’t want to lose that.”

But, he says, growers could be more efficient by tailoring rates. “That’s going to take some investigating through dealerships, through chemical companies and finding out what is really going on the ground.  We need to make sure that’s used in the science to make decisions on where atrazine is going.”

Schlender says the cost of production would likely increase if atrazine is removed because farmers would need additional herbicides for crops.

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