Development of herbicide-resistant soybeans, along with a drop in herbicide prices for conventionally bred soybeans, has saved U.S. farmers millions of dollars during the past 3 years.
In a report issued by the National Center for Food and Agricultural Policy, researchers discovered that the introduction of Roundup Ready soybeans saved U.S. farmers $220 million in 1998.
Savings came not only from increased use of the Roundup Ready technology and a reduction in Roundup herbicide prices, but also from price cuts of up to 40 percent with other herbicides.
Adoption of this new herbicide technology also reduced the number of herbicide applications. There was a 19 percent reduction in the number of active ingredient herbicide applications for soybeans, equalling 16 million fewer applications over 3 years.
When the Roundup Ready technology was introduced in 1996, farmers planted 1 million acres, or 2 percent of the U.S. soybean acreage. In 1999, farmers planted 35 million acres of Roundup Ready soybeans, accounting for 47 percent of total U.S. soybean acres.
Researchers cite a reduction in crop injury, a broader spectrum of weed control. fewer concerns about herbicide carry-over damage and an easier weed control system as reasons for the quick adoption of Roundup Ready technology.
FMC Corporation’s Agricultural Products Group received registration for a new one-pass pre-emergence herbicide called Command Xtra from the Environmental Protection Agency on May 1. Combining Command 3ME herbicide and sulfentrazone, the active ingredient in DuPont’s Authority herbicide, this product is an alternative to Roundup Ready…