Atrazine Plus Mesotrione May Make Sweet Corn More Nutritious
Sweet Corn
Controlling weeds early in the season protects crop yields, but it may do even more for the crop. Early post-emergence herbicide applications of atrazine plus mesotrione have been shown to boost the nutritional value of some sweet corn hybrids, according to this study.

"Kernel lutein and zeaxanthin levels significantly increased 15.6% after mesotrione + atrazine early postemergence applications, as compared to the control treatment. It appears that mesotrione applications resulted in greater pools of kernel carotenoids once the sweet corn genotypes expressing moderate injury overcame the initial herbicidal photo-oxidative stress. This is the first report of herbicides directly up-regulating the carotenoid biosynthetic pathway in corn kernels, which is associated with the nutritional quality of sweet corn. Enhanced accumulation of lutein and zeaxanthin is important because dietary carotenoids function in suppressing aging eye diseases such as macular degeneration, now affecting 1.75 million older Americans."