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Gov. Kelly urges EPA to reject atrazine regulations


TOPEKA, Kan. — Gov. Laura Kelly on Tuesday sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding its recently proposed change to the usage and label requirements of atrazine, an herbicide that helps Kansas farmers control weeds that can choke out crops. 

“I’m standing with Kansas farmers in urging the EPA to reject overly burdensome regulations that jeopardize our ag industry’s ability to feed families, provide jobs, and produce record-setting agricultural exports,” Kelly said. “These new requirements don’t improve safety — but they could limit crop yields and drive up prices at a time when we should be doing everything we can to fight inflation.” 

Atrazine has been an important tool for farmers of many of Kansas’ valuable agriculture products since it was first registered as an herbicide more than 60 years ago, according to a release from Kelly’s office. Nearly 7,000 scientific studies have established the herbicide’s safety, the release said. 

“Today's food producers need crop protection tools that are effective and environmentally sound,” Agriculture Secretary Mike Beam said. “The use of atrazine to control weeds allows the crop plant to maximize yield potential, optimizing the overall production efficiency and a decreased need for water and fertilizers. The potential adoption of a proposed level of concern far below the current level would significantly impair the effective use of atrazine on Kansas farms.” 

Kansas farmers can provide their own comments to the EPA about the proposed modification at https://bit.ly/3LcspPD. A copy of Kelly’s letter can be found at https://bit.ly/3Uctta6.