Atrazine and other triazine herbicides drive the U.S. economy as much as $22 billion over a five-year period, according to a new series of studies by Syngenta.
Increased yields, decreased producer costs and reduced soil erosion are just some of the reasons farmers and consumers are purchasing triazine herbicides, the studies indicate.
Farmers note increased yields for corn, sorghum and sugarcane crops. The studies also indicate economically priced herbicides reduce overall weed-control costs, and the products show a reduction in soil erosion and less carbon released into the earth’s atmosphere.
In addition, atrazine and other triazine herbicides account for as many as 48,000 American jobs in corn production alone, according to the studies.
“It’s hard to overestimate the importance of atrazine and the triazine herbicides to US agriculture and global food supplies. They benefit food production, the environment and the economy — and that means jobs,” said David C. Bridges, Ph.D., president, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, University of Georgia said of the findings on AgriTalk Radio. “Some say there are ready replacements.In fact, there is no substitute for atrazine.”
The studies found that atrazine increases U.S. corn output by 600 million bushels per year, triazines prevent up to 85 million metric tons of soil erosion per year and triazine herbicides help cut carbon dioxide emissions by up to 280,000 metric tons per year.
Those yields help save the U.S. beef, dairy, pork, poultry and egg industries more than $1.4 billion per year. These benefits resonate throughout the entire supply chain, from farmers and food processors to retailers and consumers, Bridges said in a statement.
USDA reports that US cropland soil erosion declined by more than 40% between 1982 and 2007. Conservation tillage and related practices have contributed to this result. The triazine herbicides play an integral role in those programs, according to Syngenta.
Conservation tillage and no-till farming also reduce agricultural diesel fuel use by more than 18 million gallons per year and annual carbon dioxide emissions by more than 180,000 metric tons.
“For many farm families, especially in this struggling economy, atrazine’s productivity boost represents the margin between keeping the family farm and home and losing everything,” said Don Coursey, Ph.D. , Ameritech professor of public policy studies, Harris School, The University of Chicago, in a statement. “Atrazine’s value extends from farms to the small businesses they support and their local communities.”
For more information about atrazine, visit www.atrazine.com.