Last week, the National Academy of Sciences hosted a summit to discuss “superweeds,” or the widespread problem of herbicide-resistant weeds currently afflicting millions of farm acres across the United States.
Superweeds — the “weeds that man can no longer kill!” — have been in the news for several years. All across the Midwest and Southeast farmers have been photographed and filmed standing in fields surrounded by the giant plants. They bemoan the cost of pesticides and point to industrial rows of crops that don’t have a chance when up against feisty weeds that grow up to three inches a day.
Superweeds have been especially likely to appear alongside genetically engineered (GE) crops, which are engineered to withstand large amounts of pesticide and herbicide use. And these weeds show no sign of going away any time soon.
That’s why scientists and researchers from land-grant universities, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and representatives from several industry and trade groups met at last week’s summit to strategize about the problem.
A few speakers boasted about the efficiency of modern-day farming and the fact that today’s agri... Read more