Is Your Child in a Toxic Spray Zone?

Sprayer

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) recently released a blog post titled “Thousands Of Schools Would be Close To Toxic Spray Zones.” The report basically states that if Enlist Duo herbicide is approved by the EPA, many school-aged children will be put at great risk. Enlist Duo is a new formulation of two well-characterized herbicides (2,4-D […]

Seralini Rat Study Revisited

220px-Rat_siamese

Anyone interested in the GMO debate has probably heard about the Seralini paper that I criticized a while back. That paper was eventually retracted by the original journal, and it has now been re-published in a different journal. There are quite a few articles describing the background, so I won’t get into those details. I suggest reading recent […]

Regulating Herbicide Resistance

2,4-D

A few months ago, I wrote about 2,4-D resistant corn and soybean. At that time, the USDA had just completed it’s draft environmental impact statement for the two crops. While the USDA regulates crops developed through biotechnology, it is the EPA that regulates pesticide use. So before the new formulation of 2,4-D can be applied […]

Salt, Vinegar, and Glyphosate

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I’ve been asked quite a few times over the last several years about a “homemade” herbicide recipe that is floating around the web. Many of you have probably seen it posted to Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest, or on your favorite home gardening site. One of my favorite descriptions calls it a “magical, natural, weed killing […]

Defining Agroecology

SmallCroppedWheatLandscape

Agroecology (ag´ rō i kol´ ə jē), n. An ecosystems approach to agriculture. Agroecology. It’s an unfamiliar term to many people. And even people who are actively engaged in some aspect of agroecology sometimes disagree about what it means. I have to admit, even though the term is pretty important to me, I was fairly […]

Would you like to join the Control Freaks team?

The Control Freaks are searching for a new team member to join them at the University of Wyoming Department of Plant Sciences as an Assistant Research Scientist. The responsibilities will be 50% research and 50% extension related to weed management in rangelands and cropping systems. A Bachelor of Science in weed science or closely related […]

Fitness of herbicide resistance genes revisited

Figure 2 from Giacomini et al. (2014)

Last August, an article was published in New Phytologist that claimed a transgene added to rice could increase the fitness of a weedy relative. The paper was covered in the media pretty widely. When I read the paper, I didn’t think the authors presented nearly enough data to support their conclusions. You can find my […]

Historical Perspective on the Importance of EDRR

Prevention, early detection and expedient control of new invasive plant populations are crucial components of a high-leverage strategy in a landscape-scale invasive weed management program. Such a strategy is largely dependent on thorough and current knowledge of invasive weed distribution in an area. Weed managers may be unable to prioritize search areas or adequately develop […]

The “failure” of biotechnology to increase crop yield

SugarbeetInjury

For some reason, over the last few days I’ve heard a lot of people criticizing GMOs for not increasing crop yields. This criticism certainly isn’t new. I don’t really understand the reason for the sudden resurgence of this claim, but it does provide an excuse to address the topic with some actual data. GMOs can claim […]

Are herbicides responsible for the decline in Monarch butterflies?

Monarch butterfly caterpillar feeds on a milkweed plant

The monarch butterfly is in bad shape. The number of monarchs returning to their overwintering sites in Mexico has been declining steadily for at least a decade. The consensus suggests there are several reasons for this decline, including loss of their overwintering habitat and unfavorable weather patterns. But the purported cause of monarch decline that […]