Why one anti-GMO farmer switched to genetically engineered herbicide-tolerant seeds

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This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Greg Guenther is now an enthusiastic user of genetically modified seed, despite steering clear of it in the mid-1990s, having been convinced that the USA would lose its export markets because other countries – mainly in Europe – rejected the technology.

[Guenther’s] farm was invaded by hemp dogbane, a pernicious herbaceous weed that grows mainly in North America, and he couldn’t get rid of it with the available herbicides.

[D]espite his aversion to GMOs, Mr Guenther decided to sow 8ha of Roundup Ready varieties, so he could use the herbicide to tackle the worst infestations.

“Using genetically modified seed makes my harvests much more reliable. Stalk borer and rootworm can cause a lot of damage if insecticide spraying doesn’t work, or if you leave it too late,” he said.

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Mr Guenther has no problems with glyphosate-resistant weeds at present, so he uses Roundup Ready rather than multiple-herbicide-resistant varieties. He says farmers with resistant weeds have only themselves to blame. “It mainly happened to farmers who sprayed in lower doses and didn’t carry out cultivation and other measures to prevent resistance developing.”

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The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: US farmer’s pros and cons of genetically modified crops (GMO)

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