Corn Belt would feel the loss of atrazine

By Prof. Micheal D. K. Owen,
Iowa State University

I read with concern the opinion of Frank Ackerman that an atrazine ban would not have negative consequences in Iowa and the Corn Belt (“Atrazine Ban Would Not Ruin the Corn Belt,” Aug. 26). Atrazine has been a mainstay in corn weed management for more than 50 years and continues to provide effective and consistent weed control.

The recurrent use of glyphosate in corn and soybean has resulted in glyphosate-resistant weeds across Iowa and the Corn Belt. As a result, there may be changes in production practices that have significant environmental and economic impacts on agriculture and consumers.

As pointed out in the recent National Research Council report (“The Impact of Genetically Engineered Crops on Farm Sustainability in the United States“) of which I was a co-author, glyphosate-resistant weeds will reduce crop yields and growers will respond by using more tillage. This will increase soil erosion, the consumption of petroleum products and production costs.

Read the rest of this Des Moines Register article here.