Dead plants are probably bad for earthworms

An earthworm. Taken in Swifts Creek, Victoria in June 2007. Source: Fir0002/Flagstaffotos

I’ve gotten a number of questions recently about a new study titled “Glyphosate-based herbicides reduce the activity and reproduction of earthworms and lead to increased soil nutrient concentrations” that was recently published in the online journal Scientific Reports. Although the title seems pretty straightforward, there are some flaws in the study design that preclude any broad conclusions from this research. […]

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 […]

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 […]

If you’re a frog in a field, there are many ways to croak


Just saw a link to a story on the Guardian titled “Common pesticides ‘can kill frogs within an hour’“. Obviously, my interest was peaked. Global amphibian decline is a well-noted phenomenon, and it is possible that pesticides may play some role. But killing frogs “within an hour” is a pretty shocking result for a pesticide […]

Herbicides for sainfoin


We continue to get quite a few questions about weed control in sainfoin. Unfortunately, there are very few herbicide options currently registered for use in sainfoin (only 6 different active ingredients). We are investigating some additional herbicides in ongoing research trials. Although several herbicides look promising in our trials, these potential options will not be […]

Do genetically engineered crops really increase herbicide use?


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 […]

Why I think the Seralini GM feeding trial is bogus

UPDATE: If you’re looking for information on the ‘republished’ version of this manuscript, a full statistical analysis of the released data can be found here. 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 […]

%d bloggers like this: