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Wed Dec 26, 2012, 02:13 AM

Meet the Weeds that Monsanto Can't Beat

Instead of the supposed revolution in agriculture that Monsato's GM seeds were meant to bring, the opposite effect has occurred a rise in herbicide use

Reader's Supported News
By Tom Philpott, Mother Jones
25, December 2012



Monsanto's Roundup has created herbicide resistant
weeds. (photo: Paul Sakuma/AP)


When Monsanto revolutionised agriculture with a line of genetically engineered seeds, the promise was that the technology would lower herbicide use - because farmers would have to spray less. In fact, as Washington State University researcher Chuch Benbrook has shown, just the opposite happened.

Sixteen years on, Roundup (Monsanto's tradename for its glyphosate herbicide) has certainly killed lots of weeds. But the ones it has left standing are about as resistant to herbicide as the company's Roundup Ready crops, which are designed to survive repeated applications of the agribusiness giant's own Roundup herbicide.

For just one example, turn to Mississippi, where cotton, corn, and soy farmers have been using Roundup Ready seeds for years - and are now struggling to contain a new generation of super weeds, including a scourge of Italian ryegrass. "Fight resistant weeds with fall, spring attack," declares a headline in Delta Farm Press, a farming trade magazine serving the Mississippi river delta. The article's author, a Mississippi State University employee, lays out the challenge:
    In 2005, Italian ryegrass resistant to the commonly used herbicide glyphosate was first identified in the state. Since then, it has been found in 31 Mississippi counties and is widespread throughout the delta. This glyphosate-resistant weed emerges in the fall and grows throughout winter and early spring.

The solution: "Fall residual herbicide treatments followed by spring burn-down applications, where a non-selective herbicide is applied to fields before planting." Translation: to combat the plague of resistant Italian ryegrass, Mississippi's cotton farmers must hit their fields with a "residual" herbicide in the fall - meaning one that hangs around in soil long enough to kill ryegrass for a while, and then come back with yet another herbicide in the spring, to make sure the job has been done.

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- Better living through chemistry........

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Arrow 16 replies Author Time Post
Reply Meet the Weeds that Monsanto Can't Beat (Original post)
DeSwiss Dec 2012 OP
Pachamama Dec 2012 #1
DeSwiss Dec 2012 #3
nebenaube Dec 2012 #2
DeSwiss Dec 2012 #4
jackbenimble Dec 2012 #12
byeya Dec 2012 #10
farminator3000 Dec 2012 #14
LWolf Dec 2012 #5
DeSwiss Dec 2012 #9
LWolf Dec 2012 #15
Egalitarian Thug Dec 2012 #6
DeSwiss Dec 2012 #11
MindPilot Dec 2012 #7
DeSwiss Dec 2012 #8
LWolf Dec 2012 #16
jackbenimble Dec 2012 #13

Response to DeSwiss (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 06:37 AM

1. If the job of Montsanto is to produce & sell as many Chemicals & Herbicides as possible, and used as

.....much as possible, then one could argue they accomplished this goal successfully....


Disgusting.....meanwhile, its clear that Ryegrass, which I grew up in Europe as knowing as a hearty perfect rotation grass for pastures for livestock foraging, seems to be here to stay....

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Response to Pachamama (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 04:27 PM

3. That's the capitalist model in a nutshell......

...and is why it never works (except for the benefit of the at the top like any decent Ponzi scheme should). ''Progress'' (via science) rarely demonstrates its value to those of us at the end of this process through a lowering of the prices of things. It is often used as camouflage designed primarily to coverup its inherent flaws.



Ever since the end of the nineteenth century, the problem of what to do with the surplus of consumption goods has been latent in industrial society. From the moment when the machine first made its appearance it was clear to all thinking people that the need for human drudgery, and therefore to a great extent for human inequality, had disappeared. If the machine were used deliberately for that end, hunger, overwork, dirt, illiteracy, and disease could be eliminated within a few generations. And in fact, without being used for any such purpose, but by a sort of automatic process by producing wealth which it was sometimes impossible not to distribute the machine did raise the living standards of the average human being very greatly over a period of about fifty years at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth centuries.

But it was also clear that an all-round increase in wealth threatened the destruction indeed, in some sense was the destruction of a hierarchical society. In a world in which everyone worked short hours, had enough to eat, lived in a house with a bathroom and a refrigerator, and possessed a motor-car or even an aeroplane, the most obvious and perhaps the most important form of inequality would already have disappeared. If it once became general, wealth would confer no distinction. It was possible, no doubt, to imagine a society in which wealth, in the sense of personal possessions and luxuries, should be evenly distributed, while power remained in the hands of a small privileged caste. But in practice such a society could not long remain stable.

For if leisure and security were enjoyed by all alike, the great mass of human beings who are normally stupefied by poverty would become literate and would learn to think for themselves; and when once they had done this, they would sooner or later realize that the privileged minority had no function, and they would sweep it away. In the long run, a hierarchical society was only possible on a basis of poverty and ignorance.


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Response to DeSwiss (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 01:40 PM

2. figures...

 

Don't Rye grasses fix nitrogen in the soil? I know that dad planted rye every winter.

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Response to nebenaube (Reply #2)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 04:30 PM

4. Yep.

It was a ''good'' thing until it became a ''bad'' thing, which was when Monsanto's profit margin required it to be.

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Response to DeSwiss (Reply #4)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 09:15 PM

12. Kind of like white clover,

which used to be a desirable cover in a lawn but because Monsanto couldn't figure out how not to kill it the decided to call it a weed. My neighbor works for monsanto and their lawn is perfect looking. I imagine they hate the white clover in my lawn.

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Response to nebenaube (Reply #2)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 08:04 PM

10. Rye grass was known as green manure and the farmer plowed in under while preparing the soil for his

 

cash crop.

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Response to nebenaube (Reply #2)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 09:36 PM

14. hey there!

i'm a farmer (bet you guessed)

rye grass and rye grain are for holding the soil in place, and clover, peas, beans (legumes) fix nitro

but you plant them together, too- the clover gives the rye N and the rye gives the clover shade

rye will soak up extra N if it's all by itself.



there are annual and perennial rye grass, too. perennial SUX!

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Response to DeSwiss (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 05:43 PM

5. I was furious

when, early xmas morning, I turned on my local pbs station on tv and saw a commercial for Monsanto as a sponsor. It was long, very green and idyllic, and talked about how wonderful Monsanto is for farmers.

I felt betrayed.

Of course the weeds that survive will develop resistance.

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Response to LWolf (Reply #5)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 08:04 PM

9. Oh PBS was purchased (bought-off) by BIG CORP.....

...sometime ago.

- I think it happened shortly after Mr. Rogers died......

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Response to DeSwiss (Reply #9)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 03:28 PM

15. I knew that, sort of.

It was still a shock.

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Response to DeSwiss (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 06:35 PM

6. There is no room for fact, or even common sense, when profits are the only agenda. K&R n/t

 

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #6)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 08:06 PM

11. So saith.....

...The Law of Capitalism, chapter one, verse one.

- The other verses don't really matter after that.....

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Response to DeSwiss (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 06:51 PM

7. This is probably my fault...I'm so sorry.

Those are apparently the weeds from my driveway that have escaped and are now reproducing in the wild. They don't need soil, air, sunlight or water, just concrete. To them, RoundUp is some kind of horticultural super growth hormone. (and that only works when the RoundUp in mixed with concrete; if the grass on my lawn so much as sees the spray bottle it turns brown.)

I even replaced my driveway; four inches of steel-reinforced cement over a gravel bed barely slows them down.

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Response to MindPilot (Reply #7)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 08:01 PM

8. Raises hand......

...the dandelions are mine.

- Sorry.....

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Response to DeSwiss (Reply #8)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 03:29 PM

16. I like dandelions.

I actually like them better than lawn.

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Response to MindPilot (Reply #7)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 09:19 PM

13. Creeping Charlie?

Impossible to kill with chemicals and grows out of rocks. I finally bought a contraption that looks and behaves something like a flamethrower to fend it off when it gets really bad in my driveway.

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