Salt, Vinegar, and Glyphosate

I’ve been asked quite a few times over the last several years about a “homemade” herbicide recipe that is floating around the web. Many of you have probably seen it posted to Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest, or on your favorite home gardening site. One of my favorite descriptions calls it a “magical, natural, weed killing potion.” The recipe is largely the same regardless of the source. There are a pretty wide variety of claims about its safety, effectiveness, and “naturalness” depending on the …

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Fitness of herbicide resistance genes revisited

Last August, an article was published in New Phytologist that claimed a transgene added to rice could increase the fitness of a weedy relative. The paper was covered in the media pretty widely. When I read the paper, I didn’t think the authors presented nearly enough data to support their conclusions. You can find my criticisms in detail here. I think it is worth revisiting this paper now for a couple of reasons. The first is that two formal criticisms …

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Large-scale impacts of herbicide-resistant weeds

As I was updating information on herbicide resistant weeds for class this week, I wanted to find some hard numbers on the large-scale impact herbicide-resistance can have. Obviously, my first thought was to find information on cotton production in the South. Glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth has been something of a poster child for the potentially devastating impacts of herbicide resistant weeds in the last few years. It has been dubbed a “superweed” by many, including Nature News, the New York Times, …

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Glyphosate resistant wheat found in Oregon

USDA-APHIS announced recently that volunteer wheat growing in an Oregon field has been confirmed to be resistant to glyphosate. Reports indicate the glyphosate resistance is due to the same transgenic event that was used in Monsanto’s Roundup Ready wheat. More information from the National Association of Wheat Growers and Agri-Pulse. The good news is that this wheat event has already been reviewed by the FDA (back in 2004) and found to be as safe as conventional wheat for food and …

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Where are the super weeds?

In a recent issue of Nature, Natasha Gilbert took “A hard look at GM crops.” Ms. Gilbert states: “it can be hard to see where scientific evidence ends and dogma and speculation begin.”   “Researchers, farmers, activists and GM seed companies all stridently promote their views, but the scientific data are often inconclusive or contradictory. Complicated truths have long been obscured by the fierce rhetoric.” I agree wholeheartedly. Especially when browsing the internet, there is a lot of misinformation, half-truths, and …

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Herbicides for sainfoin

We continue to get quite a few questions about weed control in sainfoin. Unfortunately, there are very few herbicide options currently registered for use in sainfoin (only 6 different active ingredients). We are investigating some additional herbicides in ongoing research trials. Although several herbicides look promising in our trials, these potential options will not be registered in time for the 2013 growing season (in fact, it is a distinct possibility they never will be). The following table lists currently registered herbicides for …

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Why I think the Seralini GM feeding trial is bogus

UPDATE: If you’re looking for information on the ‘republished’ version of this manuscript, a full statistical analysis of the released data can be found here. If you’re following the news about the French GM maize feeding trial, you’ve probably heard: (A) we need to pull GMO crops off the market immediately; or (B) that the study is flawed and is basically meaningless. I guess I find myself leaning toward the second group on this one. Here is why I think the …

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Some comments on the Purdue glyphosate-disease article

I’ve noticed a very interesting headline making the rounds on Twitter the last couple days. The headline: “Glyphosate-resistant ‘superweeds’ may be less susceptible to diseases” originated with a press release from Purdue University. The article’s headline is apparently taken from a rather speculative quote by one of the co-authors of the study, Dr. Steve Hallett: “We may be selecting not only for glyphosate resistance, but inadvertently selecting for weeds that have disease resistance as well.” Dr. Hallet’s statement seems to be speculative, and …

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Weed control in sainfoin

UPDATE For a full list of herbicides registered for use in sainfoin, see this post: Herbicides for sainfoin Sainfoin is being promoted by a variety of sources as a good forage alternative to alfalfa. It has many desirable attributes: it has high nutritional content, it seems well adapted to Wyoming (particularly northern Wyoming), and it does not cause bloat so it can be grazed. The University of Wyoming has released 2 varieties of sainfoin that are well adapted to the …

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