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Laura Kelly pushes back against EPA’s war on Kansas agriculture

TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly today sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding its recently proposed change to the usage and label requirements of atrazine, an herbicide that helps Kansas farmers control weeds that can choke out crops.

“I’m standing with Kansas farmers in urging the EPA to reject overly burdensome regulations that jeopardize our ag industry’s ability to feed families, provide jobs, and produce record-setting agricultural exports,” said Governor Laura Kelly. “These new requirements don’t improve safety – but they could limit crop yields and drive up prices at a time when we should be doing everything we can to fight inflation.”

Atrazine has been an important tool for farmers of many of Kansas’ valuable agriculture products since it was first registered as an herbicide more than 60 years ago. Nearly 7,000 scientific studies have established the herbicide’s safety.

“Today’s food producers need crop protection tools that are effective and environmentally sound,” Agriculture Secretary Mike Beam said. “The use of atrazine to control weeds allows the crop plant to maximize yield potential, optimizing the overall production efficiency and a decreased need for water and fertilizers. The potential adoption of a proposed level of concern far below the current level would significantly impair the effective use of atrazine on Kansas farms.”

This comes along with several other achievements of her administration that Kansas Governor Laura Kelly proudly touts including:

  • Kansas’ agricultural exports exceeded $5 billion for the first time in history.
  • This year, Governor Kelly fully funded the State Water Plan Fund
  • Governor Kelly was one of the only Democratic governors in the country to call for and support President Trump’s United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) to help Kansans capitalize on the increased global demand for food and agriculture products.
  • The Kelly Administration was a leader in providing essential mental health resources to agricultural producers through the Department of Agriculture’s Ag Stress website.
  • Governor Kelly cut taxes for farmers and ranchers impacted by natural disaster, making it more affordable for them to repair fencing on their properties.

Kansas farmers can provide their own comments to the EPA about the proposed modification here.

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