Is it a bird? A plane? No, its..Superweeds!

What do you see when you look into your garden right now? Probably a bunch of dead plants, cold soil, and a few scraggly weeds that are trying to survive the cold, right? Well, sitting quietly in your soil right now are microbes, hibernating bugs, and weed seeds that are just waiting for the soil to warm up and the sun to come out so they can start taking over your garden again.
Life is amazingly resistant to extremes of temperature, drought, and even chemicals. It learns to survive and thrive through a process of genetic mutation…the weak will perish and the strong will survive to grow another day.
What happens when genetic mutation allows an organism to thrive in an otherwise harsh environment? The organism then passes that strength on to its offspring and a new generation is created. One that is significantly stronger than previous generations.
This can be good or bad, depending on the genetic mutation involved. Sometimes you are left with a drought-tolerant tomato plant (yay!) or an herbicide-resistant weed!

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Superweeds: A Farmer’s Nightmare!

As farmers become more and more dependent on herbicides to control weed growth in their fields, pesticide-resistant weeds are becoming a serious problem. Agricultural giant Monsanto developed a powerful herbicide several years ago called Roundup. They then created Roundup-resistant crop seeds.
This combination of powerful herbicide and a Roundup-resistant seed crop allowed farmers to grow their crops without any concern for how much weed killer they dumped onto their fields. The desired crop continued to thrive and the weeds were easily killed off.
But, as I discussed above…it is hard to keep an organism from reproducing. Roundup-resistant gene mutations took off, resulting in numerous ‘Superweeds’ that are now thriving in farmer’s fields. And they aren’t content to stay there, either.
Wind, rain, and animal life are spreading the seeds of these superweeds far and wide, including right into your garden’s soil. These superweeds aren’t just Roundup-resistant, the plants’ overall size and strength are also increasing. Even if you regularly kill weeds with a flame weeder, you need to be concerned. 
Think About This:  According to an article published in the journal Weed Science, farmers are having more trouble than ever dealing with out-of-control superweeds in their fields, some of which grow up to three inches a day! There are currently at least 21 different weed species that are now Roundup Resistant. What can farmers do to control the weeds and help their crops thrive? Are even stronger chemicals the only answer?

What is Monsanto’s opinion on all this? According to the Pesticide Action Network,  Monsanto blames farmers for the overuse of Roundup and recommends mixing it with older herbicides like 2-4,D — one of the active ingredients in Agent Orange.

Want to know what else Monsanto has been up to lately? Check out the Monsanto Files for a disturbing and eye-opening collection of articles.

Remember, the weeds in your garden may be dormant this month but they are just waiting for a little bit of sun, rain and warmth before they wake up again. And they are just one genetic mutation away from becoming a superweed! Start thinking now about how you plan to control those weeds this spring. Are you part of the problem or part of the solution?


3 thoughts on “Is it a bird? A plane? No, its..Superweeds!”

  1. Honestly, unless the *weed* is in my garden I really don’t worry about it all that much. I wouldn’t use a Monsanto product or a Roundup product anywhere on my property!

  2. Ugh. I have a friend who follows this very closely. I admit it isn’t one of the things I focus on. I do try to buy organic and local as much as possible…but I know that even organic farmers have trouble with cross-contamination from this giant agri-corp.

    Very frustrating, no doubt.


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