SnowBall archive


GE - More farm problems reported with GM soya in US

In an article entitled "GM crops are not for all, say US weed scientists",
this week's Farmers Weekly magazine (5 March 1999) in the UK reports
problems cropping up with Monsanto's GM soya in Arkansas in the United

In an apparent reference to the low yields from GM varieties previously
reported by Farmers Weekly's own US correspondent, University of Arkansas
weed scientist Dr Ford Baldwin reveals that, "Growers have been happy with
the weed control but disappointed with the varieties."

But Dr Baldwin, also elaborates further in the article indicating that there
may, after all, be weed control problems as well, saying: "There are several
species of weed which, if the timing is wrong, can't be controlled at all.
Glyphosphate is not a one shot solution."

Farmers Weekly reports that Monsanto recommends two treatments with Roundup
during the first two weeks after crop emergence to hit tough weeds while
they are small, but Dr Baldwin warns that: "... species shifts will happen
very quickly for weeds with an extended germination period, especially if
growers fall into the trap of continuous use of glyphosphate."

According to Farmers Weekly other companies recommend one glyphosphate-type
treatment plus an alternative control, usually a soil applied pre-emergence

The article summarises husbandry problems with GM soya as follows:

- uptake depends on weed spectrum
- conventional herbicides still needed
- application timing is crucial
- weed population shifts likely
- resistance probable long term

So, back to square one with this 'promising' form of 'sustainable
development', everybody?

For more information on agronomic problems with GM crops visit our web site.