Tuesday, March 4, 2014

New Crop Raises Old Worries about 'Drift'

In the war against herbicide-resistant weeds, agricultural scientists are looking for new weapons.  The worry, though, is what happens when the arms race crosses the border onto a neighbors sovereign land. 
“Good fences make good neighbors,” the old saying goes. But what happens if a fenceline can’t stop one neighbor’s actions from harming another’s crop?
Some agriculture groups are saying new crops resistant to herbicides 2,4-D and dicamba could lead to just those sorts of problems.
In January, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released a draft of an environmental impact statement (EIS) that gives the go-ahead to Dow Agri Science to product corn that is resistant to 2,4-D.
Advocates of the new technology say the new crops provide a vital weapon in the war against weed resistance to glyphosate, sold under the brand name RoundUp, which is becoming a stubborn and costly problem for farmers across the country.
Unfortunately, stubborn weeds aren’t the only thing that 2,4-D kills, and gardeners, vineyard owners and even farmers of commodities who don’t switch to the new technology could potentially be affected.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This article comes from Dakotafire, a journalism project serving the James River watershed area of South Dakota and North Dakota. The project helps local media cover regional issues. Additional reporting comes from Doug Card with the Britton (South Dakota) Journal and Bill Krikac with the Clark County (South Dakota) Courier.
READ MORE: http://www.dailyyonder.com/herbicide-resistant-crops-may-affect-neighbors/2014/02/24/7241

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