GMO crops and herbicides: A ‘win-win’ for farmers and the environment, plant scientist Wayne Parrott says

n SOIL x e

A fertile soil is a microbial wonderland …. a tiny ecosystem too small to see with our eyes. Yet, the soil ecosystem retains and recycles the nutrients that fertilize the plants …. Life as we know it would not be possible without soils.

However, what is good for crops is good for weeds …. Weeds rob crops of their nutrients. In any given year, weeds rob enough nutrients around the world to have fed one billion people. Clearly, farmers have to get rid of weeds ….

Over the years, nothing has been better to get rid of weeds than plowing the soil. But plowed soil easily washes away. Its organic matter burns away, and its ability to hold nutrients is destroyed ….  farmers frequently had to choose between their crop and their soil.

Related article:  Fish feed enhanced with omega-3 oil? UK scientists developing more nutritious food for farmed salmon

Then, 20 years ago, the combination of GM crops and herbicides …. made conservation agriculture …. much easier to do …. Soil is no longer plowed to control weeds. Instead, a machine punches a small hole in the ground, and a seed gets dropped in …. However, the crop has been engineered to resist certain types of weed killers. Thus, the farmer can ….  kill the weeds without killing the crop. As a bonus, the dead weeds …. act as a blanket that protects the soil from washing away in the rain.

This new combination …. is a win-win for farmers and the environment.

Read full, original article: The largely unknown benefits of GMOs on soil health

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
ft covidresponseus feature

Video: Viewpoint: The US wrote the global playbook on the coronavirus and then ignored it

A year ago, the United States was regarded as the country best prepared for a pandemic. Our government had spent ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
gmo corn field x

Do GMO Bt (insect-resistant) crops pose a threat to human health or the environment?

Bt is a bacterium found organically in the soil. It is extremely effective in repelling or killing target insects but ...

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend