Roundup resistant pigweed infesting Southern farms
Palmer pigweed, which has become resistant to Roundup herbicide used widely on genetically modified cotton and soybean fields, is infesting farms in the Mid-South.
More than 750,000 acres of cropland have been infested with pigweed in Arkansas, including half of that state’s 250,000 acres of cotton. Nearly 500,000 acres are infested in Tennessee, most severely in the counties bordering the Mississippi River. Cotton crop yields are typically being cut by a third, while weed-control costs are doubling or tripling.
Evidently Mother Nature, using nothing more than natural selection, is defeating genetic engineering’s most successful product. Monsanto, creator of Roundup and the Roundup Ready crop seeds designed to work with it in the fields, has acknowledged the emerge of Roundup resistance and is scrambling to find ways to control the resistant weeds.
“I think this threatens our way of farming more than anything I've seen in the
30-plus years I’ve worked in agriculture,” said Ken Smith, weed scientist with
the University of Arkansas' division of agriculture.
(Source: Memphis Commercial Appeal)
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