Monsanto has been paying farmers to use its competitors' herbicides. Why? It's a last ditch effort to address the spread of superweeds created by the company's "Roundup Ready" (RR) GMO crops.
Environmental scientists warned about the problem of herbicide-resistant weed creation even before Monsanto's "herbicide tolerant" GMO crops were approved. Of course, Monsanto denied these early warnings.
beenlong2twolong, can you point us to somewhere that Monsanto denied that some weeds could develop resistance to Roundup? It would be startlingly inconsistent with their stance on their other major GMO, the BT trait, where they insisted on growers planting a "refuge" to delay the evolution of BT-resistant pests.
Also, here's a defense of the science behind using a herbicide resistant crop, whether it is Roundup resistant or resists some other benign herbicide. Every herbicide has some impact on the environment, but not all herbicides are equivalent. Some are very damaging to the environment and others are far less damaging. If you are a farmer who was using herbicide A, very damaging, and you choose to use, instead, herbicide B, much less damaging, then as long as you are able to use only B, the environment is better off. But suppose after, say, ten years, some weed evolves a tolerance to B. You will still use B for most of your weed control but you may return to using A when that particular weed is a problem. A mixture of some A and some B is less environmentally damaging than using all A, so we are still better off. After, say, five more years, enough weeds have evolved to tolerate B that it is no longer useful. So you go back to using only A, and you damage the environment the way you were fifteen years before. IN WHAT WAY IS THE WORLD NOT BETTER FOR THE FIFTEEN YEARS OF REDUCED ENVIRONMENTAL DAMAGE? WOULD THE WORLD BE BETTER, IN ANY WAY, IF THE CROP THAT TOLERATES B HAD NEVER BEEN DEVELOPED?
Also, does herbicide resistance have any necessary connection to the GMO process? Another company developed a crop resistant to glufosinate, a different herbicide, also relatively safe. No GMO technology was involved. That, of course, led to an increase in the use of glufosinate. Where is the anti-GMO community's outrage about the glufosinate tolerant plants?
Keep in mind that many plants are naturally resistant to glyphosate. These can occupy space previously occupied by stuff killed by glyphosate. These are not new "superweeds" (which is a #$%$ term for a plant resistant to one herbicide) they are wild weeds that turnover or compartmentalize the herbicide so the plant can grow.
you guys/gals here should be proud of yourselves. Developing a 'thread' that makes sense. Differences of opininions? Yes but its healthy and I myself have learned a lot by following this thread. Its a lot different from some other boards with people just insulting each other. Keep up the good work!!!
You assertion of Monsanto PAYING farmers to use other herbides sounded pretty good from the perspective of the grower of crops. But after researching this: here is the real deal according to the Des Moines Register. Monsanto will offer up to $6/acre REBATES.........which will cover roughly 30% of the total cost of the extra herbicides. Roundup prices have been steadily declining over the years, and it would appear the total cost per acre with the added herbicides is neither significantly higher or lower as opposed to straight roundup application. Superweeds appear where operators APPLY way to much Roundup above the recommended rate year after year. By adding the extra herbicides one can look at it as a glass half full or half empty. Some would say the idea is to nip any potential superweeds in the bud, some..like yourself .... will take the pessimistic route.
Some of the "super weeds" are a result of trying to cut corners on the amount of glufosinate applied. Apply not on the label recommendations with stage of growth and the timing. A few resistant weeds can be held in the combines . Then moved to other fields in the machinary