“There is no good substitute for atrazine.”
According to a new study by Paul D. Mitchell, ag economist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the herbicide atrazine benefits U.S. corn, sorghum and sugar cane farmers by up to $3.3 billion annually, thanks to increased yield, decreased cost and reduced soil erosion.
The Mitchell study’s key findings include:
• Atrazine and the other chloro-s-triazines (simazine and propazine) produce $3 billion to $3.3 billion in value annually.
• Atrazine and its sister triazine herbicides are worth an estimated annual yield benefit and net cost savings of $343 million for U.S. sorghum growers, $210 million for U.S. sweet corn growers and up to $120 million for U.S. sugar cane growers.
• Atrazine and its sister triazines provide substantial weed control and encourage conservation tillage and no-till farming, which reduce soil erosion and improve water quality.
“There is no good substitute for atrazine. It’s an off-patent, affordable and well understood product,” said Mitchell. “Atrazine significantly increases yields and is a vital tool for controlling weeds in corn, sorghum and sugar cane.”