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News Article

Popularity of Roundup Ready Maize Soars, Says Garst

The demand for Roundup Ready maize has exploded over the last several years, according to Garst Seed Company.

The demand for Roundup Ready maize has exploded over the last several years, according to Garst Seed Company. The company says that herbicide-tolerant maize, designed to survive applications of Roundup herbicide, is giving farmers excellent weed-control and crop-safety benefits while resisting the affects of glyphosate, a contact herbicide found in Roundup. A contact herbicide, like Roundup, kills almost all vegetation, including weeds, when it is applied to the above-ground portion of the plant.

This allows farmers the benefit of killing yield-robbing weeds while maintaining the integrity of their crop. The system offers many advantages, including ease of use and consistent results.

Mark Gueck, a northeast Colorado farmer and ProSeller for, said, "Everyone is trying to find an angle to save time, labour, fuel, and wear and tear on equipment. Roundup Ready corn gives me that angle."Scott Staggenborg, said the recent Roundup Ready maize explosion is easy to explain. "Roundup Ready corn has brought farmers the simplicity they craved," said the associate professor and northeast-area extension agronomist at Kansas State University. "It is a much more forgiving system from a farm management standpoint. Corn producers are seeing the advantages that a systems approach can bring to weed management," he added.

Ken Franzky, agronomist at Garst Seed Company for the southwest Minnesota area, agreed that growers are finding the flexibility and simplicity of the Roundup Ready system appealing. "There aren't as many chemical mixes to remember; it is easy to apply, and they have a wider window for herbicide application," he said. "It doesn't matter if they get rained out now because Roundup Ready corn gives growers more opportunities to spray herbicide," Franzky noted.

"Seed companies offering this technology have noticed a significant increase in demand for Roundup Ready corn hybrids over the past few years," said Gene Kassmeyer, crop product manager for Garst Seed Company. "Our estimates for Roundup Ready corn acreage show a gain in the popularity of this technology. In 2000, Roundup Ready corn was planted on somewhere around 4% of all corn acres. Just two years later, those acres increased to about 8% of total corn acres planted. For the 2003 crop year, we estimate it could be as large as 15 to 20% of all corn acres."
The Monsanto Company, a also notes a dramatic increase in Roundup Ready maize acres, citing that 2.3 million acres of Roundup Ready maize were grown in 1999, up from 1 million acres in its first year. Those numbers are no surprise to Gueck. "I have switched a lot of my conventional hybrid acres to Roundup Ready corn," said the Haxton, Colorado grower. "Other options I've tried were ineffective in controlling the weeds. Roundup Ready corn gives me the flexibility I need."

Article details

  • Date
  • 31 October 2002
  • Subject(s)
  • Awaiting Classification (3)