According to recent research, use of the herbicide atrazine encourages conservation tillage and no-till farming, and reduces soil erosion by up to 85 million tons annually.  These conclusions come from a paper, “Estimating soil erosion and fuel use changes and their monetary values with AGSIM: A case study for triazine herbicides,” presented by  University of Wisconsin-Madison economist Paul D. Mitchell at the January 10, 2012, Wisconsin Crop Management Conference. Other findings in the study include:

● Atrazine and sister triazine herbicides, simazine and propazine, benefit U.S. society by up to $350 million in soil erosion costs per year;

●By encouraging conservation tillage and no-till farming, atrazine and the other triazines reduce soil erosion, decrease fuel use and improve water quality;

●Increased farmer adoption of conservation tillage and related practices, made possible in part by popular herbicides such as atrazine, led to a 43 percent decrease in soil erosion from U.S. farmland over the past three decades; and

●Because atrazine increases corn and sorghum yields, farmers use less land for crops. This allows as many as 875,000 acres to remain in the Conservation Reserve Program, where it generates environmental benefits for everyone, including wildlife habitat and reduced soil erosion. 

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