By now You may have heard the term “Superweed“.
Generally it refers to a weed that is naturally resistant to common herbicides like the popular Roundup Herbicide made by Monsanto. However there has never been a great definition on what a Superweed really is until now. Yesterday, AgWeb, a popular agricultural news source, published an article (click here) which included the excerpt below aiming to define what the so called Superweed really is:
“the Weed Science Society of America (WSSA) has defined the term “superweed” as:
“Slang used to describe a weed that has evolved characteristics that make it more difficult to manage due to repeated use of the same management tactic. Over-dependence on a single tactic as opposed to using diverse approaches can lead to such adaptations.”” – 4/30/15 in AgWeb
While the so called Superweed Is a growing problem for farmers, there really isn’t anything “Super” about it. It doesn’t have a cape, change clothes in a phone booth, or turn into a big angry green monster like the Hulk. It’s merely a weed that is naturally un affected by a certain herbicide, which is nothing new. Weeds have done just that for years! This is not to say that other herbicides or the old school garden hoe won’t do the job. After all it’s not like it has Avenger Style Super Powers or anything. It’s just a little tougher than the average weed.
For years now, there has been a myth going around the internet about how farmers seed options have been growing smaller and smaller to the point where they are basically forced by seed companies to plant a certain variety in a monocropping style production method. This myth is most likely rooted in the fact that farmers who want to use the “latest and greatest” corn hybrids or soybean varieties must sign a contract (discussed here) with the respective seed company agreeing not to reuse the harvested grain as seed for the following year.
The fact is this myth simply isn’t true. Today there are quite a few seed companies out there that offer countless options for farmers to pick from. The three most well known seed companies are Monsanto which has the Dekalb, Asgrow, Channel and other brands. Syngenta Seeds providing the Golden Harvest and NK brands. And DuPont with the Pioneer brand. Others include smaller privately held seed companies like Wyffels, Becks and Burrus Seeds.
FACT: Farmers have the choice to purchase seed from whatever brand they want to as well as the choice to purchase whatever seeds they want to from that company. In fact, based on what I have seen in many farmers sheds this spring (and for years prior) many farmers choose to diversify and buy a few bags of seed from 3-4 companies on average. You can learn more about how farmers choose what seeds to plant by clicking here.
Here are 17+7 reasons why this myth is 100% busted.
Every year we conduct seed trials on our farm comparing the yield potential of various seeds and brands. As in years past we go above and beyond what is considered a normal size seed trial which is usually 4 rows wide and 500′ long.
For 2015 our main “Potential To Yield” (P2Y) seed trial consists of 17 corn hybrids from 7 different Seed brands including everything from the big Monsanto brands to the little guy, Wyffels Hybrids Brand. Each corn hybrid will be planted 32 rows wide and 1/2 mile long and will provide ourselves and other farmers with quality yield data after harvest is completed this fall. That data will then help farmers choose which seeds may be best to plant on their farms in 2016!
For more information on our “Potential To Yield” (P2Y) seed trials visit our web site Potential Ag.
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