…Monsanto has been forced into the unenviable position of having to pay farmers to spray the herbicides of rival companies.Roundup, trade name for glysophate, doesn’t work anymore because the weeds mutated: Continue reading
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.
Pour pesticides on crops until they breed more mutant superweeds.
So what is our old friend 2,4-D, which used to be commonly used back in the 1980s? Continue reading
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.
Here’s the good news: Continue reading