Research

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 […]

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 […]

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

07-09-Powell-Field-Day-050

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 […]

Could a herbicide-resistance gene provide fitness benefits in the absence of the herbicide?

Rice

A really interesting study was reported by Nature News, and has been picking up steam around the interwebs (including Wired and Scientific American). The headlines read “Genetically modified crops pass benefits to weeds” and “weeds get unintended ‘fitness’ boost from genetic modification.” The stories are reporting on a study in New Phytologist titled “A novel EPSP […]

Using ethofumesate when irrigating for emergence

Bedding operation with "small" soil movement.

by Andrew Kniss & Abdel Mesbah At a recent meeting in Powell, I was asked how to best use ethofumesate (active ingredient in Nortron SC and other herbicides) in fields that must be furrow irrigated for sugarbeet emergence. This is a difficult question. Ethofumesate (and almost all soil applied herbicides) require soil moisture to be […]

Do genetically engineered crops really increase herbicide use?

BenbrookCorn

Another interesting article about GMOs has been making the rounds today. This one was written by Dr. Charles Benbrook, Chief Science Consultant for The Organic Center. This publication is an updated version of a report that The Organic Center published in 2009. The new version has been published in “Environmental Sciences Europe” and can be downloaded […]

More information on the Seralini GMO rat feeding study

For those of you who would like more information on the French GMO rat feeding study by Seralini et al, please read Emily Willingham’s critique of the study. It is by far the most comprehensive summary I have read. Emily is on twitter at @ejwillingham. An excerpt: The possible explanations are legion, but with several different […]

Why I think the Seralini GM feeding trial is bogus

If you’re following the news about the French GM maize feeding trial, you’ve probably heard: (A) we need to pull GMO crops off the market immediately; or (B) that the study is flawed and is basically meaningless. I guess I find myself leaning toward the second group on this one. Here is why I think the […]