This spring, farmers are expected to plant the largest corn crop in 75 years, according to a USDA report that predicts cornstalks will sprawl over 95.9 million acres, the LA Times reports. That's good news for industrial agriculture giants like Monsanto, which has come under increasing fire in the last few years for its contribution to the country's superweed problem.
But for Monsanto, superweeds are just another selling point for its products.
According to Dr. Rick Cole, Weed Management Technical Lead for Monsanto, Midwestern soybean growers are becoming increasingly aware of the threat of weed resistance to various herbicides, and the best way to manage weed resistance is to use residual herbicides this spring.
“Farmers need to be proactive in taking steps now to manage establishment of tough-to-control weeds, including those resistant to glyphosate or other types of herbicide chemistries,” Cole says. “This is true whether they have experienced weed resistance or not.”
The Chem.Info post is a push for Roundup Ready PLUS, which will include two new "post-emergence herbicides"—Cobra and Flexstar—for use in northern states against waterhemp, and in Mid-South states against Palmer amaranth pigweed (the glyphosate-resistant, three-inch-a-day superweed), respectively.
It also attracts farmers by offering, through its Roundup Ready PLUS Corn Incentives, up to $6.00 per acre case-back.
Farmers can continue to listen to Monsanto and buy up the ever-expanding array of chemicals and genetically engineered seeds it keeps offering, or they can listen to people like Stanley Culpepper, the weed scientist who finds solutions like planting rye to fight the same superweeds that Monsanto says the new-and-improved Roundup Ready crops will attack. The key difference is, among many others, rye didn't cause the superweeds in the first place.