Is Your Child in a Toxic Spray Zone?


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 […]

Regulating Herbicide Resistance


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 […]

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 […]

The “failure” of biotechnology to increase crop yield


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 […]

Does the debate about genetically modified food matter?

Sugarbeet field

Over at Grist, Nathanael Johnson has been writing an excellent series of pieces on genetically engineered crops, called “Panic-free GMOs.” The series as a whole has been excellent, and that is not just my opinion. Keith Kloor, another journalist who has often waded in to the GMO debate, said of Johnson’s Grist series: The overwhelming consensus […]

Draft Environmental Impact Statement for 2,4-D Resistant Corn and Soybean Released


USDA-APHIS has just released the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for 2,4-D resistant corn and soybean. The 2,4-D resistant crops were developed by Dow AgroSciences using genetic engineering. The corn and soybeans will be marketed to growers as the “Enlist” weed control system. Crops with the Enlist trait will not only be 2,4-D resistant, but […]

Large-scale impacts of herbicide-resistant weeds

Palmer amaranth

As I was updating information on herbicide resistant weeds for class this week, I wanted to find some hard numbers on the large-scale impact herbicide-resistance can have. Obviously, my first thought was to find information on cotton production in the South. Glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth has been something of a poster child for the potentially devastating […]

Sugarbeet Production Guide Available


University of Nebraska Extension has recently published a new edition of the Sugarbeet Production Guide. The updated version is a 242-page, spiral-bound, full color publication with in-depth information about all phases of sugarbeet production. Every chapter of the Sugarbeet Production Guide has been updated, according to the publication’s technical editor, Robert Wilson, Weed Specialist at the […]

Do cultural and mechanical weed control practices delay development of herbicide resistant weeds?


Researchers from Wyoming, Nebraska, and Montana will use kochia in a five-year study to help find a solution to weed-resistance to herbicides. Department of Plant Sciences associate professor Andrew Kniss has received a National Institute of Food and Agriculture grant to analyze methods of weed control other than herbicide. “Diverse crop rotations and tillage are commonly […]

Managing herbicide-resistant weeds

Word cloud generated from herbicide industry recommendations on how to best manage herbicide resistant weeds.

I made this word cloud in preparation for the class I’m teaching tomorrow. I thought it was pretty interesting, so I decided to post it here and share. In class, we’re going to discuss the effectiveness of various practices to manage herbicide resistant weeds. In preparation for tomorrow’s discussion, I asked my students to review […]