Tag Archives: Palmer amaranth

Weeds winning against Glysophate

Chuck Darwin was right! Glysophate is losing to mutant weeds.

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.

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.

Oh, you mean like this pigweed-infested cotton from last year? The Palmer amaranth is already just as bad this year.

It’s not like this is news. We’ve been going on about it Continue reading

Pigweed on Georgia Farm Monitor

Dr. Stanley Culpepper of UGA Tifton says 52 counties have the mutant pigweed. He says they’re looking at cover crops and deep turning. (You may know that as plowing.) He hastily adds that they’re looking at other herbicides. But he wraps up by saying we have to look at other methods than herbicides: tillage and cover crops. He frames it as diversity and integration. What it really means is spraying poisons eventually breeds weeds that refuse to be poisoned. People, of course, are not so lucky.

This is the same Dr. Culpepper whose extensive slides on this subject I reviewed last summer.

-jsq

Germans document glysophate poisoning

The promise of Roundup:
“No tilling, just seed, spray, and harvest.”
Adriana Alvarez, who lives next door to an Argentinia GM soy field, says:
“They came from this side and sprayed the entire field. Here he turns, spraying all the time.”
The farmer was wearing a mask. That’s more than no-till farmers around here do.

Interesting statistic that in Argentina soy production increased 35-fold between 1996 and 2003 while Roundup use increased 56 times. And eventually it doesn’t work at all, because it breeds resistant weeds. In Georgia it took only ten years to produce mutant pigweed that not just Roundup but not even paraquat can kill. Many farmers are realizing that it’s cheaper, more effective, and more profitable to plow the weed under in the fall and plant a winter cover crop. Even mutant weeds are not resistant to cold steel.

The documentary points out many products in German stores that include GM soy. In Argentina, it’s even worse, with increasing numbers of birth defects.

They interview Prof. Andrés Carrasco about his research on amphibians:

“The hemispheres do not separate, like you can see here. If you look closely you can see one brain. Glyphosate can cause this kind of mechanisms, for it is an enzymatic toxin.”

Monsanto refused an interview, responding in writing:

“Monsanto is convinced of the safety and usefullness of its products and its contribution to efficacious agriculture.”
As Dr. Carrasco has been known to say:
“Son hipócritas, cipayos de las corporaciones, pero tienen miedo. Saben que no pueden tapar el sol con la mano.”

“They are hypocrites, those corporate lackeys, but they are afraid. They know they can’t cover the sun with their hand.”

The documentarians interviewed Gilles-Eric Seralini in Caen, France.

“To human cells glyphosate is already toxic in a very low dose. A farmer uses a much higher dose on the field. Roundup is even more toxic than glysophate, for that is only one of the ingredients in Roundup.”
Roundup says none of this applies to humans and Roundup is safe. Seralini says:
“Transgenics are toxic for human health.”

This is the same Monsanto that made Fox rewrite 80 times about RBGH in Florida cows.

The same Monsanto that was convicted by the French Supreme Court of lying about leaving the soil clean.

The same Monsanto that was fined $2.5 million by the U.S. EPA for selling genetically modified cotton seeds without labeling them as such.

Who should you believe? A corporation repeatedly convicted of deception, or scientists who say that GM crops cause liver and kidney damage in animals, according to research using Monsanto’s own data.

The Roundup-spraying farmer said:

Roundup, mas algo! mas algo!

Roundup, more and more!

It’s time to say:
Ya basta!

Enough already!

-jsq

PS: Credits to the German TV consumer series ‘plus minus’:

Bericht
D. Flintz
M. Rauck
Kamera
J. Fenske
C. Kültür
J. Midú
Schnitt
H. Bischoff
E. Elsner
GM toxic soy in animal feed broadcast (© WDR) by Detlef Flintz and Mathias Rauck. Translation and highlighting provided by TraceConsult. Broadcast Tue, 08 Feb. 2011 | 9:50 PM.

2,4-D: Back to the Past

So, having just spent a decade breeding mutant superweeds by pouuring pesticides on crops, what’s the recommended future of weed science?

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

Managing the Seedbank by Plowing

Roundup has bred quite a few mutant weeds, such as marestail and ragweed that haven’t yet made it to Georgia. But the king of mutant superweeds everywhere is Palmer Amaranth: pigweed.

About pigweed, Georgia Extension weed scientist Dr. Stanley Culpepper says:

Economic survival will depend on managing the seedbank!!!!
That’s on page 30 of a 46 page presentation at the 2010 Beltwide – Consultants Conference, after discussing how rapidly Roundup-Ready seeds have been adopted:

And how the value of advice on weed control during that period rapidly decreased as a direct correlation: Continue reading

Pigweed: don’t let it come up

So is it just a few people’s opinion that plowing works much better than herbicides to control mutant pigweed?

Henry Gantz writes in Don’t Give Pigweed The Light Of Day, If it doesn’t come up, you don’t have to kill it that farmers were depending mostly on Roundup, but that no longer works, due to multiple mutant weeds, including pigweed and marestail. He quotes Dr. Larry Steckle, Extension weed specialist at the University of Tennessee:

Steckle said we’ve now reached the point where we have to begin thinking in terms of controlling “resistant weeds” instead of “resistant marestail” or “resistant Palmer pigweed” because they are both beginning to show up in the same field.

“We have to manage them both,” he said. “There’s a new product from BASF called Sharpen that I’ve been looking at for five years and I’ve been very impressed with the marestail control. I still like dicamba, Roundup and Gramoxone.

“But if you have Palmer pigweed, too, then you’re going to have to overlap with residuals ― Cotoran, Caparol, Prowl ― to have any chance to do a good job of controlling them.”

So, what’s the solution: Continue reading

Deep-Till: Back to the Future of Plowing

Roy Roberson writes in Farm Press about http://southeastfarmpress.com/cotton/herbicide-resistance-0525/:
Deep tilling of crop land pocked and rutted by heavy equipment used on rain and snow soaked, often frozen farm land may not only clean up the land, but may have a significant positive effect on managing herbicide resistant weeds, especially Palmer pigweed.
Back to the future! “Deep tilling” is the current buzzword for plowing. That’s how my father farmed, with a bottom plow, a subsoiler, a harrow, and a cultivator.

The same article continues to defend no-till:

There is no doubt about the many benefits of minimum or no-till cropping systems. Reduced-tillage saves farmers money in equipment, improves soil quality, improves the environment by making the soil more porous and produces better drainage. The list of benefits goes on and on.
Promotes more erosion, is my observation. And how does no-till save farmers money if they have to pay for increasing amounts of pesticides to try to deal with mutant weeds like pigweed? Continue reading

Mutant Pigweed vs. Glysophate-Resistant Corn, Soybeans, and Cotton

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 [3], and he too, will have to hire a migrant crew to remove the weed by hand.

Here’s the good news: Continue reading