Thursday, 25 June 2009

Round-up resistant Amaranth

It seems to be true: the gene that makes soy-beans round-up (glyophosfate) ready has been accidentaly transferred to wild amaranth, which is now spreading in genetically modified soy fields all around America and cannot be controled. Apparently farmers have to give up thousands of acres of soy plantations because they can't control the amaranth weed. Amaranth, at the same time, is an amazing, fast growing and nutritious plant that was widely used in the diet of native Americans. Maybe it is conquerring it's place back again, while it's hopefully kicking out GM soy. Monsanto ought to compensate farmer's who are loosing their crops because they believed in the purposefully misleading claims of Monsanto.


Kichler, J.M.1*, Prostko, E.P.2
1Macon County Cooperative Extension, The University of Georgia, Oglethorpe, GA 31068
2Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, The University of Georgia, Tifton, GA 31793


Glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri) was confirmed in Macon County, Georgia in 2005 (Culpepper et al, 2006). Initially, GR-Palmer amaranth was confirmed on 500 acres in Macon County in 2005 (Culpepper and Brown, 2006). Since 2005, this pest has spread very quickly across Georgia. As of May 2008, 20 Georgia counties have confirmed GR-Palmer amaranth populations. (Culpepper, 2008). Palmer amaranth can grow one to two inches a day and a single female can produce 500,000 seeds making this pest hard to control with postemergence herbicides (Culpepper et al, 2007).
In 2005, it has been estimated that 87 percent of the soybeans planted in the U.S. were herbicide tolerant varieties. Growers have reduced the use of residual herbicides in herbicide tolerant crops and have depended more on postemergence herbicides for weed control. Weed management programs recommended to control glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth depends on the activation of residual herbicides and timely postemergence herbicide applications. Dryland producers struggle getting residual herbicides activated making Palmer amaranth management difficult.

Monday, 22 June 2009

Words guide

For the thing I'm studying - the decline of small-scale and extensive farming - there are many different words used to talk about it, and according to what wording I choose, I have a completely different approach, different questions.
I tend to use "agricultural marginalisation", this phrase springs from the prespective that the economic difficulties agriculture is facing are a result of economic policy drivers. But in order to talk with people about it in an easily understandable way, I've been using "land abandonment" in my interviews. But land abandonment has a different flavour to it: it is related to land-use and land-use change. The perspective of land-use change does not seem to be addressing the economic and political causes of it, nor the particular situation of farmers. For talking with farmers about the situation I think the most adequate term is "The difficulty farmers have for making a living from agriculture". And this phrase again, leads to different questions than "agricultural marginalisation" or "land abandonment" do. The definitions and phrases used guide the direction of the research...

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Projecto escola

Algo relativamente aborrecido é quando as pessoas que eu entrevisto pensam que o meu trabalho é tipo área escola. Lembram-se daquelas coisas que se andava a brincar a entrevistar as pessoas e o objectivo era conhecer o artesanato da região e como se fazia as coisas "no antigamente"?
Então fiz uma entrevista com intenções políticas radicais (coff, coff) e responderam-me se eu não queria apontar o nome das várias peças de artesanato produzidas e das ferramentas usadas. Apontei tudinho para não desanimar o entrevistando. :-)

Thursday, 4 June 2009

PhD cosmology

PhD is a warming-up exercise.

Monday, 1 June 2009


My hungarian grand-aunty rediscovered.