My Generation
The Friday Five: Chemical Edition

The Friday Five: Chemical Edition

"Cheap" weed killer, hail storms, doses, GMO endorsements and GMO bans: Here are five links to catch you up on the week in food and agriculture.

Salt, Vinegar and Glyphosate: With summer gardening season upon us, you may have seen the graphic below passed around on social media. The recipe for "all-natural, chemical-free, cheaper weed killer" has been floating around the web for several years, but here's the kicker: even vinegar, salt and dish soap have chemicals. And it's not cheaper. These two weed scientists at the University of Wyoming put together a great scientific response that breaks down the chemicals in those three ingredients and compares the whole lot to the commercial herbicide, Roundup. This is a good one to share.

University of Wyoming weed scientists break down the myths surrounding this popular social media post, including cost to mix a gallon: this recipe is $2.70; glyphosate is $0.66.

"Damage is So Widespread": The storms that raked across much of the Plains and Midwest this week left thousands of dollars of damage in their wake. Nebraska was particularly hard hit, where widespread, baseball-size hail rained down and Omaha recorded more than an inch of rain in 8 minutes. Farmers report shredded corn and soybeans and flash flooding. We got a solid two inches here on our farm, and not a puddle to be found.

Genetically Modified Crops Could Improve the Lives of Millions: The Washington Post editorial board has come out in favor of GMOs. Its conclusion: "As with any field, there’s room for reasonable caution and study using real science. But there is nothing reasonable about anti-GMO fundamentalism. Voters and their representatives should worry less about “Frankenfood” and more about the vast global challenges that genetically modified crops can help address."

The Dose Makes the Poison: Cami Ryan, University of Saskatchewan researcher, published this on her blog this spring. I missed it when it first came out but this is one to bookmark or pin or whatever you do to save a page for reference. She hits the chemical nail on the head here.

GMO Ban: Jackson County's New Law Exposes Cultural Rift on the Future of Farming: You may have heard that last week, two Oregon counties voted to ban the growing of GMO crops. For that part of the world, the effect is primarily on GM alfalfa growers. This piece from The Oregonian is really well done and takes a hard look at what's happened in a two agricultural communities. Imagine it happening in your township. Oregon farmer Marie Bowers Stagg asks some hard questions here.

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