Discussion in 'General Chit-Chat' started by jswordy, Feb 27, 2019.
I wish I could find a good paper or two on this. I've always been on the skeptical side and need to see independent sources. And yes, they indicate that it dissipates quickly in the soil cause it's 'bio-degradable'. This won't help as they get the pants sued off of them. Can't watch TV without an ambulance chaser commercial.
I farm and use glyphosate for weed control in summer. When Monsanto first came out with Roundup, they told us farmers it was a harmless salt that would easily break down on soil contact and that it would be at least 125 years before we saw weed resistance. It took 20. I wouldn't trust 'em. Nowadays, they are offering "new" mixes of glyphosate with old known nasties like 2,4-D under fancy names to try to counter the weed resistance.
BTW, about 20% of US farmers still grow the old non-GMO, non-Roundup Ready plants because they like the premium prices they get for them. That doesn't mean they are chemical free, though.
The good side of glyphosate is that it has promoted lots of no-till planting, saving us millions of tons of topsoil. So there's a yin and a yang to everything.
Mostly, though, I do adhere to the "What ya gonna do?" rule. As already mentioned, Roundup Ready means glyphosate is present in all our foods. It is supposed to break down, averting the situation we have with atrazine, which is found even in water in remote areas of Yellowstone Park, some of our most pristine remaining lands. See above: I wouldn't trust 'em.
Course, climate change might get us before chemical residues or rogue genetics getting loose will. And the rogue genetics is a big deal. For example, they told us the Roundup Ready genes were stable in the plants, but they found out that genes from corn or beans can easily drift to adjacent weeds and confer resistance. That's why they started to make farmers plant buffer strips, and why 125 years to resistance became 20. It's why I worry when they talk about growing crops to produce drugs, etc. Those rogue genes can escape pretty easy. When they first started out, they did not realize that the air is literally a genetic soup, transferring genes from plant to plant regardless of species relationships. I makes me wonder what they don't know now.
There have actually been court cases where farmers have been told they cannot plant seed from a non-GMO crop they planted because the patented genes from an adjacent GMO crop had contaminated the non-GMO crop, making its seed patent protected. Go figure.
Anyway, they say the insects are best adapted to surviving it all. The next era is theirs, they say. Meanwhile I reckon I'll work on my 39,420,000 bottles.
I've only been using Round Up for about 3 years on the grapes. Now I wonder if it's residual in the grapes. I've been using in on fence rows for quite a while longer and didn't think it was that dangerous (it is only a salt). Now my wife has cancer and I wonder if I gave it to her by using it.
I found this article pretty interesting. Fairly recent as well.
Thank you. A well written piece on the topic. From what I gather, using straight glyphosate is safer that using formulations such a 'Round Up'. It's something to consider. I sure more will come out on this as researchers dig into it. There's a lot of bucks riding on this research. Just have to separate the chaff from the wheat, so to say.
PS. thanks for the article
Perhaps 20% of farmers use non-GMO plants (so 80% use GMO), but ~90% of acreage is GMO. Latest figures I have is 88% of US corn acres and 93% of US soybean acres are planted with GMO varieties. This change happened very quickly, like over 10-12 years.
American agriculture is so saturated with chemicals that home gardeners cant safely use manure, hay or straw in their gardens. Usually compost produced by cities in sophisticated systems are considered safe. For mulch i use leaves and wood chips. Wood chips can also be used commercially or in home vineyards to control weeds. They have naturally occurring chemicals that basically inhibit all seed germination.
I have been using untreated cyprus mulch/chips in my grape rows. It takes a couple years before it really starts to affect weeds and needs to be 3 to 4" deep. The grapes don't mind having mulch piled up around it like some other plants/trees. But I have used glyphosate to help fight the weeds for the early years, but only in spots. I don't like blanketing the rows with it. Fortunately there is a company here in Ohio that is a supplier of cyprus and it boils down to about $2 per 50 pounds. It just needs to be spread down the rows.
If you want to go fishing after a couple of years you have lots of big worms too.
Roundup IS glyphosate (41% solution). Patent has expired so now yo can buy it in other brands, too.
Yes, I know, but the article detailed research that indicated that it may be the additives rather that the glyphosate that may be the problem.
Yeah I have those figures at home. I used the 20% as a rough figure. It is in the mid-range 80% GMO out of total acreage planted, per my February "Farm Journal" magazine. Farmers who grow non-GMO make a premium for it but they also have to work harder, too, to make sure there is no contamination with GMO seed or residue in their bins, trucks, combines, etc., until delivery. And like I said, the genes in the air can contaminate a field if there is not adequate buffer. Get contaminated and you lose the premium for all your hard work.
Of course, the quick adoption of herbicide resistant trait GMO systems is no surprise. They are superior in every way as a production system when maximum yield is the goal. And maximum yield is the goal of most farmers, since land and equipment are expensive to lease or own and maintain, and the farmer is the only businessperson who buys inputs at retail and then sells into a market in which s/he has no control over the ultimate pricing of the product other than timing of sale. Maximizing yield is a hedge against low prices. And farming is inherently a low ROI endeavor. It takes a lot of cash to make a little cash.
And glyphosate has its good and bad points. As I mentioned, millions of tons of topsoil have been saved by no-till practices using glyphosate to "burn down" weed growth and then planting directly into last year's plant residues. Also, when compared to 2,4-D and other herbicides, KNOWN carcinogens and bad actors and - trust me - really nasty stuff, glyphosate is relatively benign. Though class action attorneys would have you think it is a top-notch killer.
Every action has a yin and yang. When we build a new interstate highway, it's great for us but not so good for the deer. Etc.
The real trouble with glyphosate is that weed resistance is much faster acquired than they had predicted. That means the useable life of it is limited. And the alternatives so far are all nastier stuff. As I said, they are coming out with those in blends now. Or you can look at Dicamba, a really nasty actor in my view. But becoming more widely adopted due to weed resistance to glyphosate.
And the flip side of genetic modifications, we don't really know all about yet. So that's a big question going forward. Just as our knowledge about intra-field contamination was limited when we got into this whole thing, our knowledge of what gene splicing does in the broader world is also limited. We don't know what we don't know until we know it, and field experience is not always the most pleasant way to learn.
As long as cheap and readily available food is the top priority, as it is in the USA, I don't see the country - or for that matter, the world - backing away from GMO production systems.
Yeah, it's partly a semantics thing, since everybody living in the country calls glyphosate Roundup. I haven't used Roundup brand for well over 10 years since the patent ran out. The 59% side of glyphosate is ethoxylated tallow amines, surfactants used for adherence to plants that come from rendered animals. The EPA says review of the research indicates they are safe. For what that is worth.
It may not have been evident in my last post, but my viewpoint is indistinguishable from yours.
I've been using Round-Up and generic equivalents around the yard for years. Before that, my choice was 2-4-D. Admittedly, I don't cover myself with it, but I do get some of the undiluted stuff on my hands. Have never suffered any ill effects from it. And now I'm too damn old to worry about it! lol
The one successful lawsuit against Monsanto that I read about involved a guy who sprayed Round-Up for a school district and on several occasions was sprayed head-to-toe with the stuff. Still, from what I read, there is no definitive way to prove what caused his cancer. Apparently the technology to determine the cause of any cancer is not there yet.
I tried the citrus oil base stuff this spring and it's about worthless. I may try vinegar/Epsom salts concoction just to see what it does. As it is, I'm getting ready to spray fence rows and the established rows in the vineyard. I have looked at mechanical means, but still don't see how I can do that and leave the mulch. I have to do something as we have an evasive species (Autumn/Russian Olive) here that bear copious quantities of berries that the birds eat. When they land on the top wires in the vineyard, they poop out the seeds. So guess where I find lots of these plants starting to grow? If you don't control these devils, they tale over in short order and can grow 4' to 5' a year. The property near me is loaded with them and I can't seem to convince the birds to fly elsewhere. So glyphosate it is.
Note that if you try to mix he vinegar spray that there are industrial strength solutions that might be more powerful. https://www.factorydirectchemicals....ial-vinegar-the-difference-between-20-30-pure
I'm curious to what effect this acid has on the soil. Does it alter pH or cause uptake issues for other minerals. I intend on trying it, but not on the vineyard. What I'll do is take a soil sample, treat the area, an then take another soil sample down the road, say 2 months. That corresponds with my annual sample (soil and green matter) delivery for testing.
I suppose I'm looking for a magical spray that only kills weeds, doesn't effect the bark or grapevine, that isn't toxic, and doesn't leave anything in the soil.
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