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Do pesticide seed treatments inadvertently promote weeds?

| | August 14, 2017
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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.

A researcher with the NH Agricultural Experiment Station at the University of New Hampshire has received a $474,679 grant to determine if pesticide seed treatments inadvertently protect weed seeds in the soil from being attacked by naturally occurring invertebrate and fungal species.

“We have data suggesting that the insecticides and fungicides coated on most corn and some soybean seeds, generally referred to as pesticide seed treatments, can exacerbate the weed challenges faced by farmers. We hypothesize that pesticide seed treatments protect weed seeds in the soil from attack by their invertebrate and fungal “natural enemies,” and we have preliminary data supporting this,” [said experiment station researcher Richard Smith, UNH associate professor of agroecology]

“We also have data indicating that noncrop plants, such as cover crops, can take up significant quantities of residual pesticides from the soil, suggesting that strategic planting of cover crops could mitigate spill-over effects of pesticide seed treatments on weeds, including those resistant to glyphosate,” he said.

The research project will take place at the UNH Kingman Research Farm, a facility of the NH Agricultural Experiment Station, and a university research farm in Pennsylvania.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: UNH to study whether pesticides on crop seeds accidentally make weeds worse

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