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Those numbers on your glyphosate bill are going to look a lot larger. In fact, glyphosate prices have doubled from a year ago, and could perhaps triple in some cases.
Demand for glyphosate has partially been driven by grower demand for Roundup Ready technology in corn, and partially been fueled by the major seed companies’ decision to focus production on more hybrids with this technology.
However, now that we have more of this technology being used in corn, glyphosate production has not kept up with demand. In China, to which manufacturers have turned in recent years for supply, glyphosate production has fallen off the pace as competition for those production facilities from other industry sectors has been fierce.
Since the introduction of Roundup Ready technology and with glyphosate having gone off-patent, no-tillers had enjoyed in the last decade a dramatic drop in glyphosate prices — from more than $30 per acre to about $4 per acre. Certainly, you can argue that the savings within the glyphosate bill were offset by the increased price of the seed carrying Roundup Ready technology.
But now, for the first time in more than a decade, what no-tillers are paying for Roundup Ready technology and the glyphosate to kill weeds have both increased. That’s bound to get a grower’s attention.
Perhaps, in a twisted sort of way, higher glyphosate prices are a good thing. The list of weeds having developed resistance, or a high level of tolerance, continues to…