…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.
Cover crops may be more effective at reducing soil erosion and runoff after maize harvest than rough tillage, according to scientists from the Université Catholique de Louvain, in collaboration with the Independent Center for the Promotion of Forage (CIPF).This study was done in Belgium, but Tifton A soil we have around here is a sandy loamy soil. And as we know from research done in Georgia, around here we also need to manage the mutant pigweed, and for that a combination of plowing and winter cover crops works best.
The three-year study, supervised by Charles Bielders and conducted by Eric Laloy, measured erosion and runoff losses from silt loam and sandy loam soils in continuous silage maize cropping. The research revealed that cover crops reduced erosion by more than 94% compared to bare soil during the intercropping period. Cover crops and reduced tillage appeared equally effective in reducing runoff and soil loss between cropping cycles, despite the fact that the cover crop development was very poor.
The results were reported in the May/June 2010 edition of the Journal of Environmental Quality, a publication of the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America.
“At the bottom of the profile, I found lots of huarango pollen. This indicates that large forests were originally growing in that area.Hm, around here we’ve only seen a 700-year flood last year. When it happens again in a year or so, what will we call it?
Subsequently, I saw cotton pollen and other weeds, but still a lot of huarango pollen. It seems at this stage farming was in balance with the environment,” Chepstow-Lusty said.
Then, about 400 A.D., the Nazca apparently stopped growing cotton, switching to large crops of maize.
The researchers found a major reduction of huarango pollen, indicating that people started clearing the forests to plant more crops.
But the agricultural gain from clearing forests was short-lived. When a mega El Nino event hit the south coast of Peru in about 500 A.D., there were no huarango roots to anchor the landscape.
The fields and canal systems were washed away, leaving a desert environment. Today, only pollen from plants adapted to salty and arid conditions can be found, Chepstow-Lusty said.
“The bottom line is that the Nazca could have survived the devastating El Nino floods had they kept their forests alive. Basically, the huarango trees would have cushioned that major event,” Beresford-Jones said.