Iowa farmers see an increase in herbicide-resistant weeds on soybean and corn fields


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Photo by claire.vath; Flickr

Due to herbicide-resistant weeds which have increased on Iowa soybean and corn fields, farmers are seeking other ways to manage weeds. Continue reading

On the Radio: Roundup may present danger to Iowa’s environment


A tractor spraying herbicide on field. Photo by Tpmartins, Flickr.

Listen to this week’s radio segment here or read the transcript below. This week’s episode discusses the effects of the herbicide known as Roundup.

Should Iowans worry about how the world’s most widely used herbicide affects our environment?

This is the Iowa Environmental Focus.

A series of studies are raising questions about the herbicide Roundup. Last year, a report out of the University of Pittsburgh found that tadpoles grew longer tails when exposed to Roundup – the same adaptation as when they are exposed to other threats. This indicates that the herbicide may have unwanted effects on some species.

Past studies have found that glyphosate-based herbicides – like Roundup – cause birth defects in laboratory animals. Roundup is also believed to have caused the development of “superweeds”, which have grown resistant to herbicides and are so large that they can damage farm equipment.

A U.S. Geological Survey study last year found traces of glyphosates in nearly every air and water sample collected in Mississippi and Iowa.

For more information on this issue, visit IowaEnvironmentalFocus.org.

I’m Jerry Schnoor from the UI Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research.

Thank You.

Monsanto found guilty in France


Farm in southern France. Photo byKeith Laverack, Flickr

A France court found Monsanto guilty on Monday of poisoning a French farmer. The farmer claims he suffered memory loss, headaches and stammering as a result from inhaling a Monsanto weedkiller in 2004. He argued that the weedkiller did not contain an adequate warning label.

This is the first time Monsanto has been found guilty in such a case. Past cases have failed due to the difficulty in linking symptoms to Monsanto’s products.

Monsanto has 19 locations in Iowa alone. Their seeds are used for about 90 percent of the soybeans and 70 percent of the corn grown in the U.S.

Earlier in the year, Monsanto faced criticisms after studies showed rootworms were becoming resistant to their pesticides, and widespread use of their herbicides was leading to the formation of superweeds.

Read the Huffington Post’s full article on the lawsuit here.