Atrazine and Food Security | Atrazine Benefits | Syngenta US

The Benefits of Atrazine: Food Security

Atrazine increases crop yield

Atrazine plays a vital role in U.S. food production. Without atrazine, farmers would see a huge drop in yields of major crops such as corn, sorghum, and sugar cane, and increased costs to keep weeds at bay, causing a ripple effect throughout the agricultural and food production industries– right down to the consumer. The loss of atrazine would hurt the American farmer and ultimately, the American food system.

More food in less time with less land, less water and less energy

Weeds are the most significant threat to global food production, and atrazine is one of the most effective and versatile tools to keep them from destroying our food. While common waterhemp, Palmer amaranth, giant ragweed, common lambsquarters and horseweed have all developed resistance to other herbicides, they remain vulnerable to atrazine.

Corn

  • Because of atrazine, U.S. corn production is the most robust agricultural system in the world.
  • Corn farmers could lose more than 7 bushels per acre of yield without atrazine. With more than 86 million acres of U.S. corn, that is a loss of more than 600 million bushels each year.
  • That loss would affect not only the production of corn-based foods, but also beef, pork, poultry, fish, dairy, and egg production.

Sorghum

  • Grain sorghum is the fifth most important cereal crop grown in the world.
  • Because of atrazine, the United States is the world's largest producer and exporter of grain sorghum. Without it, U.S. sorghum farmers could lose more than 13 bushels per acre of yield.
  • In addition to food products, sorghum is also used extensively in animal feed and is vital to the U.S. ethanol industry.