…Monsanto has been forced into the unenviable position of having to
pay farmers to spray the herbicides of rival companies.
If you tend large plantings of Monsanto’s “Roundup Ready” soy or cotton,
genetically engineered to withstand application of the company’s Roundup
herbicide (which will kill the weeds — supposedly — but not the crops),
Monsanto will cut you a $6 check for every acre on which you apply at
least two other herbicides. One imagines farmers counting their cash as
literally millions of acres across the South and Midwest get doused with
Monsanto-subsidized poison cocktails.
The move is the latest step in the abject reversal of Monsanto’s longtime
claim: that Roundup Ready technology solved the age-old problem of weeds
in an ecologically benign way.
Roundup, trade name for glysophate, doesn’t work anymore because
the weeds mutated:
Continue reading →
It’s a funny thing about monocultures. They’re highly vulnerable to anything
that affects that particular variety.
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho writes:
The scene is set at harvest time in Arkansas October 2009. Grim-faced farmers and scientists speak from fields infested with giant pigweed plants that can withstand as much glyphosate herbicide as you can afford to douse on them. One farmer spent US$0.5 million in three months trying to clear the monster weeds in vain; they stop combine harvesters and break hand tools. Already, an estimated one million acres of soybean and cotton crops in Arkansas have become infested.
The palmer amaranth or palmer pigweed is the most dreaded weed. It can grow 7-8 feet tall, withstand withering heat and prolonged droughts, produce thousands of seeds and has a root system that drains nutrients away from crops. If left unchecked, it would take over a field in a year.
Meanwhile in North Carolina Perquimans County, farmer and extension worker Paul Smith has just found the offending weed in his field , and he too, will have to hire a migrant crew to remove the weed by hand.