Atrazine: Protecting Streams and Rivers
For millennia, farmers had one means to fight weeds constant plowing. But this churning of the earth destroys critical nutrients, beneficial organisms and, worst of all, causes severe erosion and soil runoff which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency identifies as the No. 1 pollutant of American waterways.
Now, thanks to atrazine, farmers are revolutionizing how the land and the water it impacts are treated.
Increasingly, farmers are adopting a new form of agriculture that requires little or no plowing called “no-till.” Enabled by atrazine, no-till can reduce erosion by 90 percent or more.
- This has helped bring total erosion rates down by 40 percent between 1982 and 2007.
- And in some areas, no-till is resulting in the complete elimination of pesticide runoff into streams and rivers.
In all, atrazine and similar compounds save up to 150 million tons of soil a year from erosion, enough to fill more than 5 million dump trucks.
Imagine that 5 million dump trucks pulling dirt out of our rivers and streams.