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The new glyphosate

Gil Gullickson 12/03/2010 @ 6:12pm Crops Technology Editor for Successful Farming magazine/Agriculture.com

A broad-spectrum, low-cost residual herbicide might be reality someday


Picture this: A herbicide with a weed spectrum that rivals glyphosate. Plus, it has residual, something which glyphosate doesn’t have. It also breaks down quickly in the soil, has a low active ingredient use rate, and costs no more than glyphosate.

Is that possible?

“It you put all those aspects together, maybe it is a dream,” says Rudiger Scheitza, head of global portfolio management for Bayer CropScience. “Maybe one day, though, it could become a realistic dream.”

This “new glyphosate” is a compound for which Bayer CropScience scientists are searching.

“It may happen tomorrow or 20 years from now,” says Scheitza. “You don’t know what’s out there in terms of science and what’s achievable or not. We do believe there is a need for improvement.”

It’s a tall order, though. Scheitza says there never has before been such an effective and environmentally friendly chemistry like glyphosate. On the other hand, though, weed resistance resulting from heavy glyphosate use continues to develop.

“So, we want to work on alternatives,” says Scheitza. “I can’t be precise if this will happen or not, but for sure, this a target our chemists are working on.”



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