Publications Plus online catalog
This Land
60 Ways Farmers Can Protect  Surface Water
50 ways 57 ways 60 ways

57. Observe Setback Zones

ariel view of fields

New label requirements for atrazine, initiated by the manufacturer in 1992, eliminated some uses for atrazine, called for reduced application rates, and required the establishment of setback zones—areas around wells, streams, lakes, and tile inlets where atrazine cannot be mixed, loaded, or applied.

Setback zones are not required for pesticides other than atrazine and simazine. But they still make a lot of sense whenever you use chemicals that are susceptible to surface runoff. To give you an idea how much of a setback makes sense for these chemicals, the following are the requirements for atrazine. It cannot be said with scientific certainty that these setbacks will be ideal for other pesticides. But they are the best available guidelines.

Atrazine may not be mixed or loaded within 50 feet of any perennial or intermittent stream, natural or impounded lake, sinkhole, or well. Atrazine may not be mixed or loaded within 50 feet of any perennial or intermittent stream, natural or impounded lake, sinkhole, or well. A perennial stream refers to streams that flow for all or a majority of the year. By intermittent streams, the atrazine label refers to streams that flow only during certain parts of the year.
Application setback zones Next: Application setback zones. Atrazine cannot be aerial- or ground-applied within 66 feet of the points where field runoff enters perennial or intermittent streams or rivers. If the 66-foot setback is on highly erodible land, the setback zone must be planted to a crop or seeded with grass or another suitable cover crop.
Application setback zones If runoff doesn't enter the stream at a specific point—if it flows uniformly over a wide area of the streambank—you will have to establish a 66-foot setback alongside the stream.
Atrazine cannot be applied within 200 feet of natural or impounded lakes or reservoirs. Atrazine cannot be applied within 200 feet of natural or impounded lakes or reservoirs.
Atrazine setbacks are required around tile inlets... Atrazine setbacks are required around tile inlets if the outlet discharges within 50 feet of a well or sinkhole, within 66 feet of a perennial or intermittent stream or river, or within 200 feet of a natural or impounded lake or reservoir. Establish setback zones around each tile surface-water inlet. The size of the setback depends on whether the tile discharges into a sinkhole, well, stream, or lake.
grassed waterway Most ditches, grassed waterways, and farm ponds are exempt from atrazine setback requirements, except in certain instances. Check with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Farm Services Agency, or Cooperative Extension Service for more specifics.
Next

University of Illinois Logo