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Uses and Benefits of 2,4-D

2,4-D is one of the most widely used herbicides worldwide, protecting agricultural crops, turf grass and environmentally sensitive areas from invasive and noxious weeds.

It is used to by farmers to maximize crop growth and efficiently produce more food per acre, public works operators to improve safety along highways and rail lines, foresters to control competing growth to new seedlings, and homeowners to manage weeds on their lawns.

  • The environmental benefits of 2,4-D include improved water availability, water quality, and air quality because of reduced soil erosion, reduced fertilizer use, and a reduced carbon footprint.
  • The human safety benefits come from effectively managing invasive and poisonous species. Along highways and roads, vegetation management using 2,4-D helps ensure motorist safety by controlling encroaching weeds and brush that can conceal road signs, deer and moose as well as affect driver visibility. In homes and in parks, 2,4-D controls many poisonous weeds, like poison ivy and poison oak.
  • The economic benefits of 2,4-D amount to billions of dollars saved in food costs and lost crops each year. Detailed studies conducted in 1996, 2007, and 2015 calculate the financial impact of 2,4-D for local food producers and consumers in the U.S. and Canada. The 2015 study found that in addition to the financial cost, the loss of 2,4-D would be devastating to herbicide resistance.

“The estimated net societal loss from banning only 2,4-D in the United States would be $1.683 billion; whereas, banning all phenoxy herbicides would result in a loss of $2.559 billion annually”
United States Department of Agriculture Report, 1996