by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Agrimarketing : October 2007
October 2007 AgriMarketing 53 but in doing so, it also produced 20% or better yields. Repeated studies comparing the crop yields for fields treated by atrazine versus other treatments show that yields for atrazine-treated fields are consistently higher --- from 4.3 bushels an acre to as much as 10.8 bushels per acre. Sorghum yields are higher too --- an average of 11.3 bushels per acre. And the estimates for the increased yield in sugar cane acreage range from 12% to 50%. The company supported the product with broad communications programs that touted the improved yields. The company is credited with running the first two-page, four- color spread advertisement in farm publications and being the first crop protection company to include TV in its media mix. COMPETITORS AND PARTNERS When the patent on atrazine expired, other companies began manufactur- ing the herbicide. Currently, those companies include Dow AgroSciences, MANA, Drexel, United Agri-Products (UAP) and Sipcam. In addition, more than 30 other companies sell atrazine con- taining products. All told, atrazine can now be found in 45 pre-mix products currently on the market. Industry sources report that Syn- genta also set into motion a new sales strategy that made the product available to other crop protection companies in a variety of ways. In some cases, it sells the tech product only to others who complete the formulation process and sell it under their brand name. In others, it sells the completely formulated product to other crop protection companies and they pre-mix with their products. And in other cases, it private labels the product for sale under its customers' brand name. LOOKING AHEAD "Over the years," Knight says, "the market for atrazine has been consis- tent and farmers continue to use it to protect their crops, using it at rates that are one-fifth of what they were at introduction." Knight says he and the others at Syngenta believe atrazine contin- ues to have very good outlook. "First, the corn market looks to be strong for the next several years," he says. "Although the pre-mixes have been declining, tank mixes of atrazine with post-products have made up that difference. Plus, farmers are seeing the importance of including a residual herbicide, like atrazine, with glyphosate applications. Atrazine also contin- ues to receive favorable reviews from regulatory authorities around the world." (See sidebar). All in all, that's good news for a legendary product that has so ably served our forefathers and today's ag producers, as well as the genera- tion to come. AM COVER STORY/continued from page 51 ENVIRONMENTAL GROUNDBREAKER Although there are several other manufacturers of atrazine, its original developer and marketer, Syngenta Crop Protection has taken the lead in meeting scientific and regulatory requirements. Because of its long-time use, atrazine has often been the target of envi- ronmental groups and misconceptions concerning the product's safety have been circulated. The truth, however, is that thousands of studies and years of regulatory review have continued to support the safe use of atrazine. In fact, EPA took the unprecedented step of establishing a Special Review of triazine herbi- cides, of which atrazine is one, in 1994. That review looked at all environmental safety, human toxicity, water quality and other data pertinent to the re-registration of atrazine and other triazine herbicides such as atrazine. In that time, researchers and regulators have concluded that atrazine can be used safely and does not pose a risk to human health and the environment if used according to the label. "We believe atrazine has to be one of the most studied agricultural products in the world," says Dr. Timothy Pastoor, Principal Science Advisor for Syngenta. Earning his Ph.D. at the University of Michigan, Pastoor has more than 25 years of experience doing safety testing of registered products such as atrazine In June 2006, EPA also studied the the cumulative risks associated with those triazine herbicides and stated that they pose "no harm that would result to the general U.S. population, infants, children or other major identifiable subgroups of consumers." EPA then cleared atrazine for re-registration. The regulatory process continues, though. Atrazine will be the subject of at least two upcoming Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP) reviews that will con- sider new research on amphibians and human health, while also examining an extensive ecological monitoring system that's been in place since 2004 to protect aquatic life. "These are science-based studies, so we are able to present our data in an academic setting that will answer many of the final questions concerning atrazine," said Pastoor. Pastoor is confident the panel reviews will echo many of the findings of other regulatory bodies who have found that atrazine can be used safely. These authorities include the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer, the Australian Pesticides & Veterinary Medicines Authority and the European Union. "Over the decades, as hundreds of pest control chemistries have come and gone, atrazine has passed the stringent tests at the customer, scientific and regulatory levels," Pastoor says. "All the research continues to support the herbicide so we expect it to continue to be a valuable tool for farmers well into the future." AM Pastoor
November December 2006
November December 2007