Image # 2678
A crop duster sprays herbiicides over field of beans
Herbicides have become a serious addiction in Amercian agriculture and this inevitably leads to the evolution of resistance. In Idaho, nine biotypes in a total of six species have have evolved resistance to herbicides. Prickly lettuce was the first weed to develop resistance, but the list includes kolchia, Russian thistle wild oat, and mayweed chamomile. Scientists have estimated that there are 1,940 sites and more than 181,600 acres that have become infested with herbicide resistant weeds in Idaho. This forces farmers to switch to other often newer less tested herbicides. Fallow fields in the background were not the target for the spraying but looked like they got significant chemical doses from these spray runs. The recent introduction of Monsanto's Genetically Engineered Roundup Ready Soybeans (not generally grown in Idaho) has led to an 11.4% increase in the use of glyphosate - the active pesticide in Roundup.