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California to list glyphosate as cancer-causing; Monsanto vows fight

By Karl Plume June 26 (Reuters) - Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto Co's popular Roundup weed killer and other products, will be added to California's list of chemicals known to cause cancer effective July 7, the state's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) said on Monday. Monsanto vowed to continue its legal fight[...]

Weed of the Week: cleavers

Last week I addressed a weed that I called the scourge of the south. For more northern grain belt farmers, this week I will discuss the scourge of the north, more commonly known as cleavers. Just as we saw a significant increase in the acres infested with kochia, we have seen cleavers spread across agricultural[...]

Ontario farmers focus on improving soil health

GLENCOE, Ont. — A group of Ontario farm organizations is encouraging soil-building practices and hopes to spread the word about the benefits.
Launched in March, the Ontario Soil Network program has 25 farmer participants. All have adopted soil-building practices and have expressed interest in developing leadership and communication soils.
“Farmers have always learned from other farmers. We’re[...]

Weed of the Week: kochia

I would like to discuss two weeds over the next couple of weeks. One I will refer to as the scourge of the south and the other as the scourge of the north. Unluckily, I have worked in an area where the two come together so have experience with both. The scourge of the south[...]

Hazard, risk study helps combat food fear

Should genetically modified products be labelled? Is organic healthier? Does glyphosate cause cancer? Do you put your kids at risk if you feed them meat or is the cave-man diet the way to go? All of these questions, and a few conspiracy theories, flood Twitter, Facebook and other social media tools. Celebrities are using “food[...]

Enlist corn market widens as China grants approval

June 14 (CNS Canada) - China’s decision to allow imports of Enlist corn will provide a new option for Canadian corn growers. “I guess the big thing is that farmers are usually receptive to technology that will help them on their farms,” said Myron Krahn, president of the Manitoba Corn Growers Association. “It’s another tool[...]

Palmer amaranth top weed villain

When it comes to villains and scoundrels, it’s hard for other weeds to compete with Palmer amaranth. The pigweed species can produce 500,000 to one million seeds per plant. It can grow five to 10 centimetres per day and herbicide resistant plants can rapidly spread the trait to other Palmer amaranth weeds. It also has[...]

The road ahead for farming is branching out — and that’s how consumers like it

Kevin Folta took more than a decade to understand why science isn’t a great way to change people’s minds in the debate over genetically modified foods and pesticides. “It only took me 12 years, of really working hard to share science and give people facts, to realize that it wasn’t working,” said Folta, professor and[...]

Weed of The Week: wild buckwheat

Wild buckwheat remains a pest risk for farmers across the Prairies. Alberta farmers say it is their least favourite weed. It can be tough to kill, degrades grain and oilseed samples, messes up harvests and will trip up the odd field scout. The ropy pest can prompt grain buyers to refuse shipments of canaryseed if[...]

Is fungicide resistance on the horizon?

Fungicide application has become routine. It’s every crop, every year in order to extract every last bushel. But with only three main modes of action, responsible rotations are somewhat limited. On paper at least, routine fungicide spray pencils out pretty well in all the main crops. The expected yield bump and quality benefit outweigh the[...]

Weed of the Week: wild oats

They are everywhere, and in some cases they are getting hard to kill. Wild oats, formally known as avena fatua, cost farmers an estimated $500 million dollars a year, and despite a wide range of tools to control the pest, some of the best are the old-school ones. Despite being a problem for most of[...]

Weed of the Week: wild mustard

With all the great ways to kill broadleaf weeds, one might think wild mustard would be a thing of the past. But not so. The pest, which is known formally as Sinapis arvensis or Brassica kaber, remains an elusive foe, partly because of its seeds’ ability to remain viable for a decade or more. The[...]

Bayer to sell Liberty crop protection brands in Monsanto deal

FRANKFURT, Germany (Reuters) — Bayer has agreed to sell its Liberty herbicide and LibertyLink-branded seed businesses to win antitrust approval for its acquisition of Monsanto. The divestment of the two global brands, a requirement imposed by South Africa’s Competition Commission, will account for the bulk of asset sales, worth about $2.5 billion, which need to[...]

Brazil's Mato Grosso leads push for GM-free soy

CUIABÁ, Brazil, May 11 (Reuters) - A movement to increase production of conventional non-GM soybeans is gaining traction in Brazil's largest soy- producing state of Mato Grosso as farmers anticipate growing demand from Asia and Europe. Brazil was an early adopter of transgenic crops and more than 96 percent of its soy harvest is of[...]

Bayer to sell Liberty crop protection brands to get Monsanto deal passed

FRANKFURT, Germany (Reuters) — Bayer has agreed to sell its Liberty herbicide and LibertyLink-branded seeds businesses to win antitrust approval for its acquisition of Monsanto. The divestment of the two global brands, a requirement imposed by South Africa's Competition Commission, will account for the bulk of asset sales, worth about $2.5 billion, which need to[...]