Why developing new herbicides is so hard

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Ever wonder why weed scientists are so aggressive about protecting herbicide chemistry?  Growers are constantly being told to protect the chemistry available today because who knows when, or if, they will get anymore. But why is that? In short, any new chemistry would have to be ‘the perfect herbicide.’

. . . let’s say we want to try to bring new chemistry to the farm today and make that perfect herbicide. What do we need to do?

To get our new herbicide chemistry venture started, we need at least $250 million. . . [an investor] will have to wait 10-15 years to begin getting any of his investment back and then only has 14 years before others can start selling the same product. . .

Environmentally friendly is a requirement for our new product. . .

Acute or chronic toxicity issues are absolutely forbidden. Our product must be harmless to all humans who could come in contact with it directly or indirectly.

Persistence of the herbicide also must be understood early in development. . .

But wait, there’s one more hurdle and it can come out of the blue at any time: We better be prepared for various groups to challenge our label in the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals of California. . .

“Hmmm…… maybe those weed science guys are on to something.  Seems pretty smart to protect the herbicide chemistry we have today by making wise decisions, implementing diversified herbicide modes of action into an integrated program that uses cover crops, tillage and/or hand weeding.

Read full, original post: Perfect herbicide: Don’t expect help from new chemistry and this is why

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