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Kansas agriculture leaders testify on atrazineKansas agriculture leaders testify on atrazine

Kansas corn and sorghum growers urge EPA atrazine panel to get the science right.

September 8, 2023

2 Min Read
Cornstalk with ears of corn
ACCURATE SCIENCE: Kansas corn and sorghum growers testified in mid-August before an Environmental Protection Agency Scientific Advisory Panel about the importance of using the best scientific research for atrazine regulation. The agricultural leaders encouraged the EPA to get the science right. Jennifer M. Latzke

Kansas corn and sorghum growers took time away from their farms to testify in mid-August before an Environmental Protection Agency Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP) about the importance using the best scientific research for atrazine regulation.

The purpose of the three-day virtual meeting was to provide independent scientific feedback on EPA’s draft white paper on the validity of several atrazine studies, which was submitted to the SAP. Kansas was well-represented at the SAP among the 15 agriculture representatives from several states and crops that spoke to the panel. Kansas Corn Growers Association President Brent Rogers of Hoxie, Kan., Triazine Network Co-Chair Greg Krissek of Manhattan, Kan.;. and National Sorghum Producers Vice-Chair Amy France, Scott City, Kan., also testified.

“While the scientists on the panel were focused on evaluating specific scientific studies, our goal as growers was to make sure they understood the real-world consequences if these discredited studies continue to be used in decisions around atrazine use,” Rogers said. “Atrazine is a key input we can’t afford to lose, especially on no-till acres.”

Rogers was joined by growers from Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Minnesota and Michigan, as well as industry representatives from the National Corn Growers Association; National Sorghum Producers; Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association; Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation; and leaders of the Triazine Network, a diverse coalition of more than 40 state and national agricultural groups actively involved in atrazine regulatory actions. Also speaking at the SAP was Krissek, who recently retired from his role as Kansas Corn CEO and remains active on this issue.

“Overall, the tone of the SAP was positive,” Krissek said. “In its white paper, EPA had recommended that poor-quality studies be excluded, and we agreed with that position. However, even after the SAP makes its final determinations, we will remain engaged and closely watch EPA’s actions as it moves forward with decisions on atrazine.”

EPA asked to clarify science

KCGA worked closely with the Triazine Network to advocate for this week’s SAP to clarify the science behind EPA’s dramatic shifts in the 2022 Proposed Revisions to the Atrazine Interim Registration Review Decision.

When the atrazine comment period closed last October, more than 16,000 farmers and agricultural organizations representing corn, sorghum, citrus, sugarcane and other crops across the country united against EPA’s flawed proposed revision, calling for the agency to base decisions on credible scientific evidence. During this week’s SAP, speakers shared real-world implications of EPA’s actions on today’s sustainable farming practices.

EPA expects to receive the SAP’s recommendations in late November. According to an EPA official advising the SAP, the agency will consider the panel’s suggestions in recalculating the proposed revisions before moving into a court-ordered review required under the Endangered Species Act.

Source: Kansas Corn

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