Dramatic Proliferation Of Herbicide-Resistant Weeds Threatens U.S. Crops

weeds

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Researchers at Iowa State University warn that herbicide-resistant weeds are proliferating and may jeopardize U.S. food supply.In an article published in Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, weed scientist Michael Owen said the proliferation of superweed “has been fairly dramatic in the last two to three years.”

Weeds are developing resistance to glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, which has been used extensively since 1996.

U.S. soybean, cotton and corn production could suffer from further proliferation, according to Science News:

“Today, 98 per cent of U.S. soybeans, 88 per cent or so of U.S. cotton and more than 70 per cent of U.S. corn come from cultivars resistant to glyphosate,” Owen reports. Reliance on these crops — and an accompanying weed-control strategy that employs glyphosate to the exclusion of other herbicides — “created the ‘perfect storm’ for weeds to evolve resistance,” Owen and Jerry Green of Pioneer Hi-Bred International in Newark, Del., argue in their new analysis.

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