Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Super weed!

Posted By on Wed, May 5, 2010 at 12:17 PM

Uh, I meant weeds ... with an 's.' Super weedS.

But, hopefully I got your attention. If you're a gardener or a food eater, you'll definitely want to read this:

Just as the heavy use of antibiotics contributed to the rise of drug-resistant supergerms, American farmers’ near-ubiquitous use of the weedkiller Roundup has led to the rapid growth of tenacious new superweeds.

To fight them, Mr. Anderson and farmers throughout the East, Midwest and South are being forced to spray fields with more toxic herbicides, pull weeds by hand and return to more labor-intensive methods like regular plowing.

“We’re back to where we were 20 years ago,” said Mr. Anderson, who will plow about one-third of his 3,000 acres of soybean fields this spring, more than he has in years. “We’re trying to find out what works.”

Farm experts say that such efforts could lead to higher food prices, lower crop yields, rising farm costs and more pollution of land and water.

“It is the single largest threat to production agriculture that we have ever seen,” said Andrew Wargo III, the president of the Arkansas Association of Conservation Districts.

Read the rest of this New York Times article, by William Neuman, here.

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