Roundup Is Dumped On Crops Right BEFORE Harvest … to Save a Buck
Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide (technically known as “glyphosate”) has been linked to many diseases.
However, farmers appear to be dumping it on crops right before harvest.
Specifically, Monsanto International published a paper in 2010 touting the application of Roundup to kill crops right before harvest, in order to dry out the crops in advance and produce a more uniform and earlier harvest (starting on page 28):
Benefits of using glyphosate:
Uneven maturity and green tissue delays harvest. Spraying glyphosate desiccates green foliage & stems. The photograph (below left) shows the uniform dessication of sunflower by the use of glyphosate(Roundup Bioaktiv) applied by helicopter in Hungary (Czepó, 2009a). The photograph (below right) shows complete foliar desiccation of grain maize on the right side 14 days after application of glyphosate (Roundup Bioaktiv) at 0.54kg ae/ ha in 7 0L/ ha applied by helicopter using Reglojet nozzles and including Bandrift Plus at 0.1 % at 34% grain moisture in Hungary, with the untreated visible on the left-hand side.
Lower drying costs
Monsanto trials in Hungary on grain maize and sunflower clearly show the effect of the use of glyphosate on % grain moisture ….
At harvest glyphosate treated maize had moisture content some 4% lower than untreated maize. Glyphosate treated sunflower seed moisture was 10+°/0 lower than untreated sunflower. Treated grain was at 19 and 7% respectively in these trials.
The requirement to further dry the seed/ grain to 14-16% for stable storage of maize, or 8-10% for sunflower, was thus either reduced or eliminated.
Earlier harvest to get higher price
Harvest management is an important management technique enabling earlier harvest, particularly important for the ‘stay-green’ hybrids. Increased levels of ‘stay-green’ trait may result in such desiccation practice becoming ever more common in sunflowers (Larson et al, 2008). Some commercial trials on grain maize in Hungary, as above, commented on earlier harvest bringing a higher price. Work on sunflower in by North Dakota State University department of Plant Science show that glyphosate brought harvest earlier by 5-10 days (Howatt, 2007). Sunflower harvest was brought forward 2-3 weeks by glyphosate treatment in Hungary (Monsanto, 2009a).
By bringing harvest date forward 2-3 weeks growers can more often meet the optimum planting date for winter wheat establishment so maximising yield (Czepó, 2009b).
(Given that enough Roundup is applied to full-grown plants to completely kill them, much higher quantities of Roundup are obviously being applied than would be required simply to keep away weeds (while keeping the plants alive).
Similarly, the plants don’t have time to metabolize or otherwise get rid of the Roundup, and there is not time for rains to wash away the Roundup before harvest. Instead, Roundup is dumped on the plants to dry them out, and then they are quickly harvested … with high levels of Roundup still present.
Similarly, Monsanto literature regarding Roundup encourages Canadian farmers to apply dump Roundup applications on many crops – including wheat, feed barley, oats, canola, flax, peas, lentils, and dry beans – right before harvest:
Preharvest is the best time for controlling Canada thistle, quackgrass, perennial sowthistle, dandelion, toadflax, and milkweed. A preharvest weed control application is an excellent management strategy to not only control perennial weeds, but to facilitate harvest management and get a head start on next year’s crop.
And Manitoba Pulse Growers Association reports:
Desiccants (or harvest management tools) are usedworldwide by growers who are producing crops thatrequire “drying down” to create uniformity of plantmaterial at harvest. These products may also assist inpre-harvest weed control. In Canada, products suchas diquat (Reglone) and glyphosate (Roundup) havebeen used as desiccants in pulse crops in the past …
Big agribusiness may save a buck … but we may all be paying with our health.
H/t Dr. Stephanie Seneff.