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New Legislation Aims to Ban Atrazine in Wisconsin
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 02/08/2010

Wisconsin's largest agriculture group says there is a movement by some lawmakers to ban the distribution and sale of all herbicides that contain Atrazine. During last week's Ag Day at the Capitol rally in Madison, the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation told attendees that it opposes a bill introduced by Rep. Gary Hebl of Sun Prairie to implement the ban because the state already has a very restrictive rule pertaining to Atrazine applications.

According to the group's weekly Ag News Wire newsletter, Wisconsin had 102 prohibition areas in 36 counties covering 1.2 million acres just four years ago. But Atrazine is still used on two million acres of corn in Wisconsin. In 2008, the chemical was applied to 60 percent of conservation tillage and no-till corn acres.

The Farm Bureau says the bill does not have its official bill number yet, and is therefore still referred to as LRB 4000.

Meanwhile, the same issue lingers on the federal level, as well. Last week, American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman wrote to the Environmental Protection Agency calling for the continued use of the herbicide Atrazine. He says having access to 'one of the most important crop protection products' is vital to the success of America's farmers in providing a safe and abundant food supply.

EPA plans to conduct a new investigation on Atrazine, and Farm Bureau is concerned about the irregular and hastily convened process.

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