Gus Lubin wrote in Business Insider 9 June 2011, Dramatic Proliferation Of Herbicide-Resistant Weeds Threatens U.S. Crops
Researchers at Iowa State University warn that herbicide-resistant weeds are proliferating and may jeopardize U.S. food supply.Oh, you mean like this pigweed-infested cotton from last year? The Palmer amaranth is already just as bad this year.
In an article published in Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, weed scientist Michael Owen said the proliferation of superweed “has been fairly dramatic in the last two to three years.”
Weeds are developing resistance to glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, which has been used extensively since 1996.
U.S. soybean, cotton and corn production could suffer from further proliferation, according to Science News:“Today, 98 percent of U.S. soybeans, 88 percent or so of U.S. cotton and more than 70 percent of U.S. corn come from cultivars resistant to glyphosate,” Owen reports. Reliance on these crops — and an accompanying weed-control strategy that employs glyphosate to the exclusion of other herbicides — “created the ‘perfect storm’ for weeds to evolve resistance,” Owen and Jerry Green of Pioneer Hi-Bred International in Newark, Del., argue in their new analysis.
It’s not like this is news. We’ve been going on about it for more than a year, it’s been featured on Georgia Farm Monitor with Dr. Stanley Culpepper, who has published a study of the origin and spread of this mutant weed problem, along with a radical proposed solution: plow the weeds under and plant winter cover crops, and then use a cultivator once the new crop comes up.
We do these things on our land, and we have almost no pigweed. Also clean food that’s good to eat.
It doesn’t help poor Monsanto, though, which went from Forbes Company of the Year last year to “the worst stock of 2010”. So sad!
Science News quoted lead author Micheal Owen as saying:
“It’s what Chuck Darwin talked about back in 1850. Organisms evolve in response to selection pressures in their environment. In essence, the better we get at controlling weeds, the more likely those efforts will select for survivors that do not respond to controls.”The weeds have a harder time evolving to resist cold steel.