Monsanto Monster Weeds Spreading Fast

MonsantoMichael J. Coren warns that Monsanto’s Roundup was supposed to make it easy for farmers to get rid of weeds, but it’s working on fewer and fewer plants, including some monsters that can grow three inches a day and destroy farm equipment, for Fast Company:

For decades, farmers had it relatively easy when it came to weeds infesting their soil: apply herbicides, wait for the weeds to die and grow more crops. Those salad days, alas, are coming to an end.

A new series of studies released by Weed Science this month finds at least 21 weed species have become resistant to the popular herbicide glyphosate (sold as Monsanto’s Roundup), and a growing number survive multiple herbicides, so-called “super-weeds.” The same selection pressure creating bacteria resistant to multiple antibiotics is leading to the rapid evolution of plants that survive modern herbicides. If the trend continues, yields could drop and food costs climb as weeds grow more difficult to uproot.

The herbicide resistance issue is becoming serious,” said journal editor, William K. Vencill, in a recent statement. “It is spreading out beyond where weed scientists have seen it before.” More than 11 million acres, up from just 2.4 million in 2007, are now infested with Roundup-resistant varieties. The herbicide, a relatively low-impact chemical since it biodegrades quickly, has ranked among the most popular for farmers since Monsanto introduced its genetically engineered Roundup Ready crops that are unaffected by the chemical, accounting for about 90 percent of the soybeans and 70 percent of the corn and cotton grown in the United States.

Even more worrisome is the steep (and unabated) climb in the number of weeds resistant to multiple types of herbicides. Super-strains of plants like pigweed–which grows three inches a day and is tough enough to damage farm machinery–have emerged, which may dramatically reduce the options for farmers to control them. The alternatives are usually more dangerous chemicals or plowing and mulching fields, undermining many of the environmental benefits biotech crops are supposed to offer. It’s “the single largest threat to production agriculture that we have ever seen,” claims Andrew Wargo III, president of the Arkansas Association of Conservation Districts…

[continues at Fast Company]

majestic

Majestic is gadfly emeritus.

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53 Comments on "Monsanto Monster Weeds Spreading Fast"

  1. I guess I read the title wrong … I thought this was going to be about Monster Marijuana plants spreading around.

  2. jasonpaulhayes | Jul 20, 2011 at 11:21 pm |

    I guess I read the title wrong … I thought this was going to be about Monster Marijuana plants spreading around.

  3. And then the soy plant named Prometheus gave humans the middle finger and shared the round-up resistant genes with his friends, the weeds.

  4. And then the soy plant named Prometheus gave humans the middle finger and shared the round-up resistant genes with his friends, the weeds.

  5. Anarchy Wolf | Jul 21, 2011 at 3:57 am |

    Boy, plants not wanting to be murdered because their existence happens to be inconvenient to shaved apes that believe they have the right to enslave the land to make it exclusively serve their desires? Who’da thunk it?

    Sounds a lot like that other far more dangerous phenomena, the rise of antibiotic resistant bacteria, which is also largely the fault of agribusiness and the reckless over use of chemicals(a word that apparently actually exists because the spell check recognizes it).   

  6. Anarchy Wolf | Jul 21, 2011 at 3:57 am |

    The word I am referring to is agribusiness.

  7. Anarchy Pony | Jul 20, 2011 at 11:57 pm |

    Boy, plants not wanting to be murdered because their existence happens to be inconvenient to shaved apes that believe they have the right to enslave the land to make it exclusively serve their desires? Who’da thunk it?

    Sounds a lot like that other far more dangerous phenomena, the rise of antibiotic resistant bacteria, which is also largely the fault of agribusiness and the reckless over use of chemicals(a word that apparently actually exists because the spell check recognizes it).   

  8. DeepCough | Jul 21, 2011 at 4:42 am |

    Would they happen to look anything like this?

  9. DeepCough | Jul 21, 2011 at 12:42 am |

    Would they happen to look anything like this?

  10. The article pointed out that Roundup is “biodegradable”. This is a lie. Fact is, only 3% of Roundup is actually biodegradable as opposed to 100% as the container used to advertise. As I recall, Monsanto was caught on several occasions for false advertising. Hmm .. 

  11. The article pointed out that Roundup is “biodegradable”. This is a lie. Fact is, only 3% of Roundup is actually biodegradable as opposed to 100% as the container used to advertise. As I recall, Monsanto was caught on several occasions for false advertising. Hmm .. 

  12. Anonymous | Jul 21, 2011 at 8:58 am |

    Wouldn’t it be good if the superweed problem got so bad that farmers had to give up GM agriculture forever and started growing healthy, wholesome crops again?

    Either that or develop new laser technology for weedkilling.

  13. Wouldn’t it be good if the superweed problem got so bad that farmers had to give up GM agriculture forever and started growing healthy, wholesome crops again?

    Either that or develop new laser technology for weedkilling.

  14. Davidfnbrown | Jul 21, 2011 at 9:42 am |

    Nature will have her justice on Monsanto! We must treat the soil as something sacred not as a way to make profit!

  15. Davidfnbrown | Jul 21, 2011 at 5:42 am |

    Nature will have her justice on Monsanto! We must treat the soil as something sacred not as a way to make profit!

  16. Anonymous | Jul 21, 2011 at 2:10 pm |

    Nausicaa Valley of the Wind:

    giant trees, plants and fungi reclaim the land from 1000s of years of industrial toxins and convert the toxins into soil.

    i wouldn’t be opposed.

  17. Jin The Ninja | Jul 21, 2011 at 10:10 am |

    Nausicaa Valley of the Wind:

    giant trees, plants and fungi reclaim the land from 1000s of years of industrial toxins and convert the toxins into soil.

    i wouldn’t be opposed.

  18. Isn’t it about time somebody flew a jetliner into their corporate headquarters or something?

  19. Isn’t it about time somebody flew a jetliner into their corporate headquarters or something?

  20. Anarchy Wolf | Jul 21, 2011 at 6:39 pm |

    Mycilium. The miracle fungus, one of the most incredible organisms in the history of evolution. Capable of surviving in the melted down reactor of Chernobyl. There is hope for life after the death of industrialism. 

  21. Anonymous | Jul 21, 2011 at 6:50 pm |

    very cool. i guess i learned something! ty!

  22. Roundup is NOT biodegradable. Just thought I’d correct that, as Monsanto recently had to correct it on their packaging labels. They’ve actually been sued for false advertising based on that claim.

  23. Roundup is NOT biodegradable. Just thought I’d correct that, as Monsanto recently had to correct it on their packaging labels. They’ve actually been sued for false advertising based on that claim.

  24. We should still be able to treat the soil as something sacred while making a profit at the same time.

  25. It would be nice, but GMO crops have already contaminated non-GMO crops. It’s not likely they will ever go away now.

  26. Agribusiness is going to lead to the downfall of our country!

  27. Loved that movie. Miyazaki always has some sort of moral regarding caring for the Earth.

  28. Anonymous | Jul 21, 2011 at 9:54 pm |

    me 2 >,<P!

  29. Anarchy Wolf | Jul 22, 2011 at 12:16 am |

    Not really. The profit motive is a truly evil thing.

  30. I would love to see someone do a study to see if the number of americans developing allergies to food has increased since the introduction of Roundup. I know that I developed a wheat and corn allergy over the last 3 years. Why? Doesn’t run in my family. I was fine the first 45 years of my life. Hello? Canary in the coal mine much?

  31. I would love to see someone do a study to see if the number of americans developing allergies to food has increased since the introduction of Roundup. I know that I developed a wheat and corn allergy over the last 3 years. Why? Doesn’t run in my family. I was fine the first 45 years of my life. Hello? Canary in the coal mine much?

    • Advocate of Ag | Jul 26, 2011 at 3:38 pm |

      That kind of study would not matter much, because there are no round up ready food grade corn variety’s. 

  32. I would love to see someone do a study to see if the number of americans developing allergies to food has increased since the introduction of Roundup. I know that I developed a wheat and corn allergy over the last 3 years. Why? Doesn’t run in my family. I was fine the first 45 years of my life. Hello? Canary in the coal mine much?

  33. Fungi are among the best organic chemists on the planet

  34. Fungi are among the best organic chemists on the planet

  35. Advocate of Ag | Jul 26, 2011 at 7:38 pm |

    That kind of study would not matter much, because there are no round up ready food grade corn variety’s. 

  36. I would like to see one piece of information that supports anything that has been posted on this comment board.  Because It is the uninformed public like yourselves that hurt the people in the Agriculture.  About  2%  of our Nations population currently farm and raise livestock and each one of these family farms feed and clothe about 150  people a year.  So unless your hungry and naked all the time you need Agriculture, and a misinformed public is the worst enemy to any industry.

  37. I would like to see one piece of information that supports anything that has been posted on this comment board.  Because It is the uninformed public like yourselves that hurt the people in the Agriculture.  About  2%  of our Nations population currently farm and raise livestock and each one of these family farms feed and clothe about 150  people a year.  So unless your hungry and naked all the time you need Agriculture, and a misinformed public is the worst enemy to any industry.

  38. You are quite possibly the dumbest person in the world

  39. You are quite possibly the dumbest person in the world

Comments are closed.