Skip to main content Accessibility help

Assessing the Impact of Educating Growers About Proper use of Atrazine in Pesticide Applicator Recertification Programs

  • Glenn R.W. Nice (a1), Fred Whitford (a1), Bill Johnson (a1) and Cheri Janssen (a1)


Indiana growers who purchase restricted-use pesticides are required to show the agrochemical dealer their private pesticide applicator license before the transaction can be completed. To keep the license current, growers may attend three private applicator recertification meetings or retake the exam every 5 yr. The meetings are county-based and must be a minimum of 2 h in length; they must include a topic mandated by the Office of the State Chemist. During the 2005/2006 private applicator recertification program (PARP) cycle, off-site movement of atrazine into surface water was the regulatory topic presented to 2,887 participants at 69 meetings. A team of individuals from different disciplines prepared educational materials to support the regulatory topic of the year. Surveys to assess grower awareness were conducted at the meetings and 1 yr later to monitor the long-term impact of the educational effort, and to evaluate which tactics were being adopted to reduce off-site movement of atrazine. Growers farming more than 800 ha had a higher degree of concern than small growers regarding the loss of atrazine as a weed management tool. Eighty-nine percent of the growers thought there would be a 314 to 1,255 kg/ha yield loss if atrazine was removed from the marketplace. Eighty-four percent of the growers estimated that weed control costs would increase $15 to $25/ha if no other products were available to replace atrazine. The three most acceptable management strategies to reduce atrazine movement were: more attention to label setback distances, establishment of grass filter strips around surface water, and reducing atrazine rates by tank mixing with other herbicides. The results of this project indicated that statewide programs such as this are effective in increasing awareness of an issue and documenting the impact of extension education programs.


Corresponding author

Corresponding author's E-mail:


Hide All
Barbash, J. E., Thelin, G. P., Kolpin, D. W., and Gilliom, R. J. 1999. Distribution of major herbicides in ground water of the United States. City, State U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. EPA Pesticide Programs. Sacramento, CA: Water Resources Investigative Report 98-4245. 64.
Bourgeois, L., Morrison, I. N., and Kelner, D. 1997. Field and producer survey of ACCase resistant wild oat in Manitoba. Can. J. Plant Sci. 77:709715.
Capel, P. D., Lin, M., and Wotzka, P. J. 1998. Wet atmospheric deposition of pesticides in Minnesota, 1989–1994 U.S. Geological Survey Water Resources Investigative Report 97-4026.
Czapar, G. G., Currey, M. P., and Wax, L. M. 1997. Grower acceptance of economic thresholds for weed management in Illinois. Weed Technol. 11:828831.
David, M. B., Gentry, L. E., Starks, K. M., and Cooke, R. A. 2003. Stream transport of herbicides and metabolites in a tile-drained agricultural watershed. J. Environ. Qual. 22:17901801.
EPA 2003a. Letter to Registrants. Document Identification EPA-HQ-OPP-2003-0367-0003. Accessed: March 20, 2007.
EPA 2003b. Memorandum of Agreement Between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Agan Chemical Manufacturing, Dow AgroSciences, Drexel Chemical, Oxon Italia S.P.A, and Syngenta Crop Protection Concerning the Registration of Pesticide Products Containing Atrazine. Accessed: December 26, 2007.
EPA 2006. Consumer Factsheet on: ATRAZINE. Accessed: December 26, 2007.
Fenelon, J. M. and Moore, R. C. 1998. Transport of agrichemicals to ground and surface water in a small central Indiana watershed. J. Environ. Qual. 27:884894.
Johnson, W. G. and Gibson, K. D. 2006. Glyphosate-resistant weeds and resistance management strategies: an Indiana grower perspective. Weed Technol. 20:768772.
Johnson, B., Whitford, F., Flakne, D., Bauman, T., Nice, G., Frankenberger, J., Hahn, L., Bailey, T., Donald, B., Mann, C., Murrell, L., Bowers, D., Tierney, D., and Janssen, C. 2004a. Atrazine use and weed management strategies to protect surface water quality. West Lafayette, IN Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service. PPP-67. 15.
Johnson, B., Whitford, F., Hahn, L., Flakne, D., Frankenberger, J., Janssen, C., and Bailey, T. 2004b. Atrazine and Drinking Water: Understanding the Needs of Farmers and Citizens. West Lafayette, IN Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service. PPP-66. 7.
Kladivko, E. J., Van Scoyoc, G. E., Monke, E. J., Oates, K. M., and Pask, W. 1991. Pesticide and nutrient movement into subsurface tile drains on a silt loam soil in Indiana. J. Eniron. Qual. 20:264270.
National Pesticide Information Retrieval System 2007. Indiana pesticide product data. Accessed: December 26, 2007.
Norsworthy, J. 2003. Use of soybean production surveys to determine weed management needs of South Carolina farmers. Weed Technol. 17:195201.
USDA 2006. Agricultural Chemical Usage: 2005. Restricted Use Summary. United States Department of Agriculture, National Agriculture Statistics Service. Accessed: June 5, 2007.
USGS 1998. Herbicides in Ground Water of the Midwest: A Regional Study of Shallow Aquifers, 1991–94. Denver, CO USGS Fact Sheet 076-98.
USGS 2005. Pesticides in Stream Sediment and Aquatic Biota: Current Understanding of Distribution and Major Influences. U.S. Geological Survey. Accessed: June 5, 2007.
Yuan, Y., Mitchell, J. K., Walker, S. E., Hirschi, M. C., and Cooke, R. A. C. 2000. Atrazine losses from corn fields in the Little Vermilion River watershed in east central Illinois. Applied Engineering in Agriculture. 16:5156.



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed