Superweeds evolve beyond pesticides’ reach; new and old strategies attempted for control


From The New York Times we learn how farmers are resorting to increasingly toxic herbicides, increased tilling (meaning more fuel use, soil disturbance and erosion), and hand labor to thwart ever-more-tenacious weed species which have evolved around farming chemicals employed in recent decades.

Particularly enlightening is the interactive map provided with the article. By drawing a pointer over a timeline, you can see when and in which states glyphosate-resistant (Roundup is the best-known brand name) weeds have infested farmlands. Read more here.

Just as the heavy use of antibiotics contributed to the rise of drug-resistant supergerms, American farmers’ near-ubiquitous use of the weedkiller Roundup has led to the rapid growth of tenacious new superweeds. … glyphosate is a once-in-a-century discovery, and steps need to be taken to preserve its effectiveness. Glyphosate “is as important for reliable global food production as penicillin is for battling disease”… ~ New York Times

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