Bayer removes residential Roundup

RoundupConsumers who have relied on glyphosate for weed control in their lawns and gardens may no longer have that option a little over a year from now.

In July, Bayer officials announced the company is removing any of its products containing glyphosate, including Roundup, from the U.S. residential marketplace, effective as early as January 2023. There will be no change in the availability of its glypho­sate formulations for agriculture and other professional markets, according to Bayer.

The company says it will replace glyphosate in the lawn and garden marketplace with new formulations that rely on alternative active ingredients. Bayer may still sell these products under the Roundup brand.

In a press release, Bayer explained that the move is being made to manage litigation risk and not because of any safety concerns or admission of liability. Bayer, which bought Roundup’s parent company, Monsanto, in 2018, has been plagued by lawsuits alleg­ing that glyphosate causes non-Hodgkins lymphoma. More than 90% of the claims came from users in the lawn and garden market.

While Bayer continues to dispute those allegations and cites conflicting scientific reports, the company recently released a five-point plan to close the Round­up litigation. The removal of glypho­sate from the lawn and garden market is among the pack­age of legal and commercial actions Bayer will take to address potential future lawsuits.

The company also intends to set up a new website with scientific stud­ies relevant to Roundup’s safety that will provide even more transparency to purchasers about the products they use. That website is expected to be launched by the end of 2021.

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MFA offers "Made For Agriculture" podcast

MadeForAgriculturePodcastHosts of MFA’s “Made for Agriculture” podcast, Adam Jones, left, and Cameron Horine, third from left, record an episode with MFA District Sales Manager D.J. Vollrath and Recruitment Training Specialist Scott Morfeld on the current job market and finding talent for the ag industry.As many road-warriors know, podcasts have seen a resur­gence in recent years. They are streamable and downloadable audio entertainment, easy for on-demand listening. Podcasts work well for commuters or farmers who spend lots of time in the cab. Like audiobooks, podcasts can accommodate long-form recordings and in-depth treatments of complex topics that are hard to address in other media.

MFA Natural Resources Conservation Specialist Adam Jones and Staff Agronomist Cameron Horine have teamed up to host a new podcast, “Made for Agriculture.” In the podcast, Jones and Horine interview experts and discuss timely topics over the growing season and livestock calendar.

Episodes currently in the podcast library include precision ag tech­nology, winter hay feeding and stockpiling, growing profitable wheat, grain marketing, carbon credits, foliar fungicides and many more. A new podcast is released approximately every two weeks.

The “Made for Agriculture” podcast is currently available on Android and Apple mobile devices and desktop computers. Listen and subscribe through any of these popular platforms: Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Podcast Addict.

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Scientists rank Palmer amaranth as most difficult weed, foxtail most widespread

foxtail palmeramaranth bluegrassThree of the most troublesome plants for row-crop and pasture producers are, from left, foxtail, Palmer amaranth and bluegrass, as listed by the Weed Science Society of America.Weed control may feel like a continuous—and often frustrating—battle, but there are ways to develop more effective management strategies. It starts with identifying which types are the most problematic.

A recent survey from the Weed Science Society of America (WSSA) categorizes the most common and troublesome weeds found in grass crops, pasture and turf. Conducted in 2020, the survey includes input from more than 315 weed scientists in the U.S. and Canada. Seven categories of grass crops were included in addition to pastureland, rangeland and other hay.

Foxtail was identified as the most prevalent species. These grasses, characterized by their fuzzy seed head, are typically found during the spring and summer months. In Missouri, the most common types are yellow, green and giant foxtails.

The most worrisome weed is likely no surprise to most growers: Palmer amaranth. In addition to being identified as the weed causing the most trouble overall, it is the top concern in corn as well as sorghum.

Palmer amaranth is a summer annual that resembles other varieties of pigweed. If left uncontrolled, it can have potentially devastating impacts on row-crop yields. The nitrates found in its leaves can also be toxic to livestock.

“Palmer amaranth grows rapidly, has an extensive root struc­ture and produces massive amounts of seeds that are easily transported and spread,” said Stanley Culpepper, professor and extension weed scientist at the University of Georgia. “Even more impressive are its genetic capabilities. Palmer amaranth can quickly evolve resistance to herbicides and has the potential to transfer that resistance to new plants through pollen movement.”

To reduce its spread, Culpepper recommends a timely and holistic approach. He says removing plants before they produce seeds is key, in addition to treating with herbicides.

Other rising contenders are bluegrass species, primarily annual bluegrass, which ranks second overall as the most troublesome weed. It’s particularly problematic in turf and urban ecosystems, such as golf courses, sports fields and public parks. Bluegrass is very similar to Palmer amaranth in that it’s highly productive and easily adaptable. Plant scientists say a diversified approach is the most sustainable—and effective—long-term control strategy for this weed.

A full list of survey results can be found on WSSA’s website at wssa.net/wssa/weed/surveys/.

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