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.

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