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Corn+Soybean Digest

Is Glyphosate The Final Answer?

The popularity of Roundup Ready (glyphosate-resistant) crops would lead one to think that glyphosate might be the final answer when it comes to weed control. It’s more than likely not the final answer, however.

Bob Hartzler, extension weed specialist at Iowa State University, recently found a skit written by E.P. 'Dutch' Sylwester. Dutch was the original extension weed scientist at Iowa State College. He was legendary for his storytelling. Bob thinks that Dutch wrote the skit in the early 1950's.

The skit was all about weeds and the ability of a new herbicide to control them. The herbicide was 2,4-D and it was staged as being the answer to all weed control problems.

Now, fifty years later, we know that it was not the total answer. I don’t believe that any weed scientist thinks glyphosate is the total answer today.

Nature has a way of getting around the things developed by man and we already know of four weed species that are resistant to glyphosate. Thankfully, they are not yet common in Northwestern Missouri.

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