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Roundup not ready

(article, Culinate staff)

No evolutionary surprise here: the tougher the herbicide, the tougher the weeds that eventually evolve to survive it. But the waning power of chemical herbicides like Roundup means not just superweeds that are harder to eradicate, but a collapsing market for crops engineered to resist the herbicide. In other words, if Roundup (sold generically as glyphosate) no longer works, then why bother buying Roundup Ready crop seed? And, as the recent New York Times report on the topic noted, the swift rise and fall of Roundup has other effects:

bq. By combining Roundup and Roundup Ready crops, farmers did not have to plow under the weeds to control them. That reduced erosion, the runoff of chemicals into waterways, and the use of fuel for tractors.

Check out the paper's Room for Debate discussion of the matter, too, led by Michael Pollan.