“In the Spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love”, or so Tennyson told us. But in the corn belt it seems, that rather than thoughts of love, the thoughts of many turn to crop protection chemicals, or in common language, herbicides and insecticides. Whether one is applying them to crops or hoping to avoid their toxic fumes and drift, pesticides will soon be in the air.
Contrary to what we have been lead to believe, farmers are using more, not less herbicides and in many cases they are going back to older more toxic herbicides.
When Genetically Modified Crops (GMO’s) were introduced commercially back in 1996 we were told, in reference to the Roundup Ready seeds, that one spray was all you would ever need. Roundup would kill all the weeds, spare the crop and since glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup) was a “safer” chemical, farmers would no longer need to use dangerous chemicals like 2,4-D and Dicamba.
We were lied to. Weeds of course, no surprise, develop resistance to herbicides so farmers now need to douse their crops with increasing amounts of and with a wider array of herbicides in hopes of controlling weeds. And it’s not just ordinary weeds, but “super weeds” like Palmer Amaranth, resistant to Roundup and other herbicides and big enough to damage harvest equipment. Weeds, that in some cases can only be controlled by hand pulling. A problem that has literally been growing for years.
But the chemical companies have a solution, new GMO’s resistant to? You guessed it, 2,4-D and Dicamba the same chemicals that we were told were dangerous and could be phased out because Roundup was safer and better. Now that Roundup is failing, the old dangerous chemicals are OK.
USDA has no problem with 2,4 -D resistant corn and soy, farmers should go ahead and buy these “new tools” even though some weeds have already developed resistance to 2,4-D. A technology that is obsolete before the seeds are even planted.
Still, we are supposed to keep the GMO love-fest going and believe the same story we were given nearly 20 years ago, less chemicals will be used, they are safe and effective, they will make farmers more money. As Jim Hightower would ask, “Do they think we were born with a sucker wrapper on our heads?”
Apparently they do. Think about it, chemical companies want to make money, why would they introduce products that would, in the long run, lower their sales and cause them to loose money? Planned obsolescence. There will always be a new seed, a new herbicide to sell, –-that’s the way they planned it.