Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

New "Superweeds" Will Kill Your Crops, You

"The so-called 'superweeds' have arisen because of the success of genetically modified crops, which now account for the vast majority of US corn, soya and cotton. GM essentially means that crops are protected from one type of chemical weedkiller. But because farmers have become over-reliant on this one product, weeds with natural resistance have spread rapidly and have strangled production on millions of acres."
Do you know about ambrosia trifida, a.k.a. giant ragweed? Well, you should because it's scary. It's scary like a combination of Children of the Corn, Godzilla, Cheech & Chong's Next Movie, Little Shop of Horrors, and Michael Pollan's Botany of Desire. It can grow up to 18 feet tall and is destroying America's agriculture industry. (Man, if the ragweed can grow so tall out there on the Heartland's genetically modified fields, imagine how big the roosters must get!) But don't worry, scientists are developing a powerful new weedkiller to combat the scourge. It's made from some of the same chemicals that were in Agent Orange. So that's comforting.

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scrooge (#2,697)

This is not the miscalculation it seems to be, it's part of Monsanto's long-term business strategy involving a succession of superweedkillers and genetically modified genetically modified (^n) seeds.

sarahbee (#11,692)

Coming from the north, where the ragweed I saw peaked at below knee-level, I was shocked the first time I saw giant ragweed. It grows along the walking trails in Austin and it really is as big as they say. Last year the extensive drought kept the wild population down, but it's having a really good year this year, so there's no shortage of pollen in the air. On the bright side, I'm getting better at running with a mask on. ;-)

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