3 Reasons You Don't Need GT Corn
When GT corn came out in the mid-'90s, it was quite the revolution in weed prevention. But in addition to studies showing its potential impact on farmers' health, as well as their environment, American farmers' increased reliance on the substance has caused problems, says Nate Belcher, co-founder of independent seed corn company Hybrid85.
"Over the last couple decades, we've forgotten (or deprioritized) some of our most-effective weed-management processes — specialized knowledge — like using cover crops, crop rotation, roller-crimpers, and different types of herbicides along with proper nutrient management in the soil," Belcher says.
"I understand why you think you need glyphosate. But the bottom line is you don't."
Here are 3 reasons you don't need GT corn:
For many farmers, glyphosate just doesn't work anymore — it's no longer an effective herbicide for the weeds they need controlled.
"If it's not managing your waterhemp and pigweed — why pay for the traits if you can't properly utilize them?" Belcher says.
And Glyphosate can affect the plant's nutrient efficiency, according professor Don Huber, Emeritus Professor of Plant Pathology at Purdue University.
"If we're trying to maximize output," Belcher says, "we have to manage our fertility well, and glyphosate makes it difficult to manage it because it's such a powerful chelater."
"If you are dead set on using glyphosate, you can still use it as a pre-plant burn-down. You just can't use it over the top," Belcher says. "But there's a multitude of other affordable herbicides out there that work very well on non-GMO corn.
Many farmers are surprised at how clean their fields can be when they use Non-GMO corn.
"Just take a little time and preparation to think about what's best for your field," Belcher says. "Get with your local co-op. Put a program together" to figure out an effective weed-control program for non-GT corn.
"Different chemical programs don't always mean more expensive," he says.