Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. is reporting significant progress in eliminating genetically engineered creeping bentgrass plants from Malheur and Jefferson counties in Oregon.
The creeping bentgrass was genetically engineered by Scotts and Monsanto Corp. to withstand applications of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer, which makes it hard to kill.
It took root in Malheur and Jefferson counties after escaping field trials in 2003 and some farmers worry the plants could clog irrigation ditches and affect shipments of crops to nations that don’t accept traces of genetically modified organisms.
[Danielle Posch, a senior research specialist with Scotts] said efforts to fight the plant were provided a significant boost earlier this year when EPA approved a special local need label for Reckon, an herbicide that is effective in controlling the bentgrass.
The special label will allow growers and irrigation districts to spray glufosinate, the active ingredient in Reckon and the most effective herbicide for killing the bentgrass, over water during the growing season.
That chemical previously could only be used over waterways, such as canals, during a short period before the beginning of the growing season or after canals were dry.
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