Atrazine is not Roundup, but...

John Shuey jshuey at TNC.ORG
Tue Apr 16 14:53:34 EDT 2002

> Atrazine is one of the most widely used herbicides in the United States.
> Under moist and warm conditions, the half-life of atrazine in topsoil is
> about 60 days. In subsurface soils or in water, atrazine's half-life is
> generally longer. The combination of widespread use and relative
> persistence
> in the environment help account for its frequent detection in surface and
> ground waters.

Atrazine is used mostly on corn in the Midwest, and its half-life causes
real problems with prairie restoration.  It can wipe out a grassland
planting via residual toxicity from the prior years planting. You plant and
nothing comes up (actually your prairie seed geminates and dies quickly and

So, working for an organization that is trying to restore about 7,000 acres
of prairie at the moment, we require that cropland be planted in "round-up
ready" soybeans the year prior to restoration planting.  We get a really
clean field, that is weed free with no toxicity issues for the restoration.
It actually saves us about $50 per acre in site preparation costs.

And just when you saw Neil write re/ roundup - " using it isn't good for
butterflies."  Next we'll be claiming that genetic engineering is bad too!



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