Atrazine has long been a mainstay of corn, sorghum and sugar cane farmers because it's effective in controlling a broad range of yield-robbing weeds, is safe to the crop and fits in a variety of farming systems. Its ability to increase yields is critical as demand for fuel alternatives and food increases.
Protecting Corn Yield A study evaluating the impact of atrazine on corn yields showed that during the 20-year period from 1986 to 2005, the average corn yield was 5.1 percent higher with atrazine than without.
More Flexible Weed Control Programs Farmers use atrazine to control weeds on well over half of all the country's corn acres, about two-thirds of sorghum acreage, and as much as 90 percent of its sugar cane.
Economical, Effective Weed Control The U.S. EPA estimates that farming without atrazine could cost corn growers $28 per acre due to yield loss and the use of more expensive herbicides.
Less Soil Erosion Atrazine is a very popular tool for use in conservation tillage or no-till systems — farming methods that eliminate plowing and/or reduce tillage. Conservation tillage makes cropland much less vulnerable to soil erosion, which is reduced by as much as 90 percent when compared to intensive tillage.
Expert View
Expert View
"The total or national economic impact resulting from the loss of atrazine to control grass and broadleaf weeds in corn, sorghum and sugar cane would be in excess of $2 billion per year if atrazine were unavailable to growers."