Friday, May 11, 2012

Weed scientists gather in D.C. to address 'plague of super weeds' threatening U.S. crop yields

Weed experts are calling it a "plague of super weeds" that has already spread to more than 12 million acres of U.S. farmland, beginning in the Southeast, and now moving to the corn and soybean regions of the Midwest. Reuters' Carey Gilliam reports that weed scientists met in the nation's capital this week to discuss the problem, which they say will threaten food production by limiting crop yields if not addressed.

"This is a complex problem," weed scientist David Shaw told the national summit of experts, who were set to come up with a plan to battle the problem. The Monsanto herbicide Roundup has been extremely effective for decades but some weeds have developed a strong resistance to the glyphosate-based product. Experts say farmers have been too dependent on chemicals, and a back-to-basics approach is called for.

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