Jhala receives NET grant to study atrazine alternatives

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Lana Koepke Johnson | Agronomy and Horticulture

Amit Jhala, University of Nebraska–Lincoln associate professor of agronomy and horticulture and Nebraska Extension weed management specialist, has received a three-year grant from The Nebraska Environmental Trust for a project titled "Detecting Atrazine Dissipation and Evaluating Herbicide Programs without Atrazine for Weed Control in Corn and their Environmental Impact Quotient: Research and Extension."

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Nine to 10 million acres of corn are grown each year in Nebraska making it Nebraska’s number one crop. The majority of the 23,000 corn growers are using atrazine-based herbicides for weed control.

Although banned in the European Union in 2004, atrazine is one of the most widely used herbicides in the U.S. for weed control primarily in corn and sorghum. Due to increasing concerns of surface and ground water contamination, atrazine has been reviewed several times by the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency and future use may be restricted. This will require alternative herbicides for weed control in corn.

Jhala’s research will focus on determining atrazine dissipation in silt loam soil in a corn field in southcentral Nebraska. He will also evaluate herbicide programs without atrazine for weed control in corn in multi-year field experiments and evaluate the environmental impact quotient (EIQ) of herbicide programs without atrazine. EIQ provides growers with data of the environmental and health impacts of the herbicide so they can make better informed decisions regarding its use.

This $146,174 grant is also supported by the Upper Big Blue Natural Resource District, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and Nebraska Department of Agriculture.

Jhala’s outstanding weed science Extension program reaches clientele each year to solve weed-related problems in corn, soybean, sorghum and popcorn in Nebraska and beyond. Results of this project will also be disseminated through Extension field days.

For more information on Jhala's research and Extension program see agronomy.unl.edu/jhala.

The Nebraska Legislature created the Nebraska Environmental Trust in 1992. Using revenue from the Nebraska Lottery, the Trust has provided over $328 million in grants to over 2,300 projects across the state. Anyone – citizens, organizations, communities, farmers and businesses – can apply for funding to protect habitat, improve water quality and establish recycling programs in Nebraska. The Nebraska Environmental Trust works to preserve, protect and restore our natural resources for future generations.

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Amit Jhala
Amit Jhala