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Glyphosate: too much of a good thing spells doom

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Stephen Powles is not optimistic about the future of glyphosate in North America. Powles, a farmer and weed scientist at the University of Western Australia, says the herbicide might have a shorter life span than farmers imagine. “I’m going to make here a very bold prediction: glyphosate will be driven to redundancy,[...]

Video: Weighing cost of prevention against consequences

WASHINGTON, D.C. — It’s not easy to get people to do something that costs more and is more complicated. It likely explains why weed scientists and farm extension personnel are struggling to convince North American farmers to reduce their dependence on glyphosate and adopt more sophisticated weed control methods. How to accomplish that task was[...]

Resistant weeds slash value of cropland

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Weed scientists and extension experts often argue that rented land exacerbates the herbicide resistance problem in America. 
They say farmers who grow crops on rented land care only about immediate profits and adopt a scorched earth policy when it comes to land management.
Clyde Smith, a sales representative for United Phosphorus Inc. (UPI),[...]

Enlist continues to face hurdles

(Reuters)— U.S. approval of Dow AgroSciences’ new Enlist herbicide tolerant, genetically modified corn and soybean systems takes the company a step closer to its “most important” product launch ever.
However, a series of hurdles re-main.
“We sure are aware of the concerns that have been expressed,” said company president Tim Hassinger.
“At the same time, we’ve been really[...]

New herbicides need more than quick rinse

WOODSTOCK, Ont. — New herbicide formulations, registrations and blends are mixing up trouble in boom land. It isn’t what farmers are intentionally spraying that is causing the problems. Instead, it’s what is coming out of the nozzles that farmers don’t know about. “There was a time not too many years ago that if you did[...]

USDA grants approval to Dow's Enlist GMO corn and soybeans

(Reuters) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Wednesday gave final approval to new genetically modified corn and soybeans developed by Dow AgroSciences that, while heavily criticized by environmentalists and some farmers, are portrayed by Dow as an answer to weed resistance problems that limit crop production. Approval of the specialty corn and soybeans to[...]

Glyphosate-resistant weed marching north

A weed that has devastated cotton and soybean crops in the southern U.S. has crept into South Dakota, 500 kilometres from the Canadian border.
North Dakota State University weed scientists reported this summer that Palmer amaranth, which can grow to four metres in height and can have a stem the diameter of a baseball bat, is[...]

Weed expert frustrated by farmer inaction

Richard Zollinger is done talking to North Dakota farmers about herbicide resistance.
Zollinger, a North Dakota State University weed specialist, said glypho-sate resistant waterhemp, kochia, horseweed and common ragweed all live in the state, but most growers ignore the issue.
“We (weed scientists) have been preaching weed resistance, just like they have in Canada, since the mid-90s,”[...]

Farmers must change practices before control options run out

Humans are creatures of habit. We find comfort in familiarity.
We are also creatures who don’t always pay enough attention to the consequences of our decisions, preferring immediate gratification over what is in our best interests over the longer term.
Who hasn’t stopped for fatty fast food on the way home from work, despite repeated health warnings?
It’s[...]

World in brief


Russia’s retaliation Russian food embargo to cost Europe billions BRUSSELS, Belgium (Reuters) — Russia’s ban on Western and European Union food imports, part of its response to EU sanctions imposed over the Ukraine crisis, could cost the European Union $6.6 billion US a year, according to an internal EU document. Russia, which is the EU’s[...]

Weed scientist predicts demise of glyphosate

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Stephen Powles is not optimistic about the future of glyphosate in Canada and the U.S. Powles, a farmer and weed scientist at the University of Western Australia, said the herbicide might have a shorter lifespan than farmers' imagine. "I'm going to make here a very bold prediction: glyphosate will be driven to[...]

Glyphosate as desiccant less than ideal: experts

Applying glyphosate before harvest isn’t a significant concern when it comes to herbicide resistance, says an Agriculture Canada weed expert.
“It does add some selection pressure, but a lot of the selection has (already) taken place. You’re mostly just drying down the crop,” said Neil Harker, Agriculture Canada weed scientist in Lacombe, Alta. 
“What’s left when[...]

Crop report

Saskatchewan SOUTH Less then 10 percent of crops have been swathed or straight-cut, and less than five percent combined. Harvest progress varies widely between southwest and southeast. Farmers have started combining winter wheat, lentils, field peas and fall rye, and swathing has begun for canola. Many crops are about a week behind normal development for[...]

80 percent mature heads ideal time for pre-harvest glyphosate

I had an interesting question from a grower this week. The question was “What is the operation that if I screw up, costs me the most money?” Basically, he was asking for an evaluation of his practices and suggestions on how he could improve. This is different from most questions from farmers. Most want to[...]

Manitoba crop report for Aug. 18

SOUTHWEST Welcomed precipitation varied from 10 to 30 millimetres. Spring wheat, oat and barley crops are quickly maturing and within two weeks of swathing or preharvest glyphosate application. Some areas have begun winter wheat harvest. Quality and yields are reported poor. Fusarium damaged kernel levels range from five to 20 percent and test weight is[...]