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Farmers forced to buy expensive chemical arsenals to control pesticide-resistant 'superweeds'

Monday, January 24, 2011 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: superweeds, pesticides, health news

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(NaturalNews) Genetically-modified (GM) crops require an intensive, regular application of pesticides and herbicides as part of their proprietary cultivation regimen. But the consequences of growing GMs has been the emergence of pesticide- and herbicide-resistant superweeds, which have gotten so out of control that farmers are now having to buy all sorts of expensive new "post-application" chemical treatments just to keep the invaders even somewhat at bay.

Long gone are the days of relying solely on "pre-application" GM herbicides such as glyphosate (Roundup) that were long touted as foolproof defenders against weeds. Weeds simply mutated over time to become resistant to them. And the weeds are now more of a problem than they ever were, despite promises by Monsanto that GMs would be the answer to practically all of the world's crop problems (http://www.naturalnews.com/027642_geneticall...).

Since GM farmers are now largely locked into the never-ending cycle of dependence on Monsanto and its chemical machinations just to keep their crops growing, they are now having to apply intensive applications of various other chemicals, in addition to glyphosate, on their crops to help mitigate an overgrowth of weeds like Palmer pigweed and waterhemp. But even that does not always work, which leaves farmers with few options other than to literally pluck the pests by hand, or abandon their fields altogether.

"Palmer pigweed is so bad in some areas that growers have resorted to hand-weeding at a cost of $50 to $100 per acre," said Larry Steckel, weed specialist at the University of Tennessee, to the Farm Journal. "Some cotton fields have been completely abandoned."

Other farmers are having to come up with creative ways to rotate crops and herbicide applications in efforts to trick the weeds. So much for the wonders of GM crops.

If these same farmers had instead planted organic crops, rotated them to maintain proper soil health and naturally defend against pests, and utilized organic methods of fending off fending off weeds, they would not currently be chained to Monsanto and stuck with a nightmare weed situation that threatens the viability of agricultural crops everywhere.

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