Impacts of GMO corn: A meta analysis

Italian researchers Elisa Pellegrino, Stefano Bedini, Marco Nuti & Laura Ercoli published a meta-analysis of the impacts of genetically engineered (GE) corn on the environment, agriculture, and toxicity. The fully study is publicly available: Impact of genetically engineered maize on agronomic, environmental and toxicological traits: a meta-analysis of 21 years of field data. I encourage you to read the study itself, and I provide a summary with commentary below.
A meta-analysis is a formal way to combine many papers on related topics to come to some overall conclusions (see 5 key things to know about meta-analysis). There have been large GE crops literature reviews in the past, but none to date have actually compiled all of that data into a meta-analysis.
The researchers reviewed 6,006 studies in the peer-reviewed literature from 1996 to 2016, including papers on yield, grain quality, target organisms (pests), non-target organisms, and soil biomass decomposition. Amusingly but not surprisingly, most of the studies took place in the US corn belt: Iowa, Illinois, and Nebraska. The researchers excluded experiments that were not performed under field conditions, that did not use a genetically similar (near isogenic) comparator, that had GE and non-GE corn grown under different conditions, or that had small sample sizes or other statistical issues. That left only 76 publications in the meta-analysis.
One drawback to this meta-analysis is that it groups GE traits in corn together. Each type of GE trait has benefits and drawbacks and typically must be considered individually. That said, in public discourse, specific GE traits are rarely discussed and people simply say “GMOs”. In that context, this meta-analysis is helpful in answering concerns about the effects of “GMOs”.  The researchers “noted that single event [herbicide tolerant] hybrids were missing”. In other words, studies included GE herbicide tolerance only when combined (stacked) with GE insect resistance traits. Effectively, this is a meta-analysis on corn with GE insect resistance traits, not on all currently available GE corn.

modified 3a ge corn meta analysis
Modified figure 3a from “Impact of genetically engineered maize on agronomic, environmental and toxicological traits: a meta-analysis of 21 years of field data”.

The results of the meta-analysis are striking. As you can see in Figure 3a from the paper, corn yield wass increased overall in GE corn compared to non-GE corn. There were small differences in how much yield was increased depending on whether the varieties had 1, 2, 3, or 4 biotech traits (single stack, SS; double stacked, DS; triple stacked, TS; and quadruple stacked, QS), with quadruple stack having the highest yield.
There were also fewer damaged ears overall in GE corn compared to non-GE corn. This is important because damage to the corn leads to fungal infection, which leads to potentially deadly mycotoxins. There was no significant difference in ear damage between single trait varieties and genetically similar non-GE varieties, but there was a significant difference in yield, which is interesting because you’d expect these two measurements to be more correlated. It’s also interesting that quadruple stacks had much less damage than triple stacks, but only a little less than double stacks.
3b
Figure 3b from “Impact of genetically engineered maize on agronomic, environmental and toxicological traits: a meta-analysis of 21 years of field data”.

Figure 3b shows that overall GE corn has less mycotoxins, great news since mycotoxins can cause all sorts of ill effects in humans and animals who eat them. The rate of decomposition (residue mass loss) was higher in GE corn than in non-GE corn.
The major pest corn rootworm (Diabrotica) was reduced in GE corn, not a surprise since that is the target pest of many GE insect resistance traits. Beneficial parasitic wasps (Braconidae) were also decreased in GE corn, possibly due to greatly reduced numbers of corn rootworm hosts. The minor pest leafhoppers (Cicadellidae) were increased in GE corn, possibly because the use of insect resistance traits reduces the need for broad spectrum insecticides.
Many beneficial arthropods were not affected by the use of GE corn: pirate bug (Anthocoridae), spider (Araneae), ground beetle (Carabidae), lacewings (Chrysopidae), lady bug (Coccinellidae), damsel bug (Nabidae), sap beetle (Nitidulidae), rove beetle (Staphylinidae). Pest aphids (Aphididae) were also not affected by the use of GE corn. This was surprising. I expected that there would be higher prevalence of many beneficial and pest insects in GE corn compared to non-GE corn due to reduced treatments with broad spectrum insecticides.
Another not-very surprising finding was that there were no significant differences in grain quality: proteins, lipids (fats), or fiber. There was also no difference in the lignin in stalks or leaves. This confirms that corn is corn, whether it is GE or not. It would be nice to see meta-analysis on minor constituents of GE and non-GE corn, such as particular vitamins or limiting amino acids. The researchers for this study add biodiversity and soil biogeochemical cycles to the wish list of items they’d like to see studied. Even with the limitations of what is available in the literature, this meta-analysis shows once again that crops produced with biotechnology are some of if not the most studied foods that we eat.

Anastasia Bodnar

Written by Anastasia Bodnar

Anastasia Bodnar serves as the Policy Director of Biology Fortified, Inc. She is a science communicator and multidisciplinary risk analyst with a career in federal service. She has a PhD in plant genetics and sustainable agriculture from Iowa State University.

51 comments

  1. When GMO seed first came out it looked like the end to weed and insect problems, and a way to save money on pesticides. Also, in the early years it seemed a no brainer to switch to no-till farming and was embraced by all credible Universities. Now years later we find ourselves with bigger weed issues, more insect resistance, and a much higher pesticide and seed cost. Now the Universities are telling farmers to work their soil and bury the resistant weed seed, an use volatile products like 2-4D and Banvil, in place of roundup which no longer works. Farmers have started switching back to non-gmo seed to save money and are looking towards tillage as a way to cut chemical cost. Its starting to look like GMO’s were a flash in the pan. When I was in Europe last fall, farmers were concerned about letting GMO seed into their countries for fear of the same weed and insect resistance that the US is having. Governments are requiring 3 year rotations and covercrops grown between grain crops. This seems to be the “NEW” preferred choice to control weeds, insects and disease. There are more farmers at the No-till conference that are questioning the sustainability of that method of farming. So the argument of are GMO’s safe, has turned into are GMO’s sustainable in farming. Its been a learning moment for all that though GMO’s were the savior of agriculture.

  2. Good grief, What a load of bunk. Why no citations? What are you basing your conclusions upon? How could weed problems be worse if we are simply back to the same spot as before Glyphosate? Same isn’t worse. also you ignored all the passes saved by not using mechanical weed control. And guess what. Glyphosate still works. I can tell because I and other farmers still buy it. If it didn’t work. We would most likely stop doing that. Governments are requiring??? Where is that? not here. Nonsense Steve.

  3. I guess your not in an area that has glyphosate resistant weeds? You haven’t seen palmer amaranth take over yet? This happened here in 2 short years. When the University comes out and is telling everyone to work the weeds in as deep as they can get them, then its a problem. We’ve also got mares tail we can’t kill any more. The only solution the coops are offering is spraying dicamba and 2-4D. Its drifting everywhere. I’ve got neighbors plowing no-till ground up. If you ask anyone around me how well their roundup works, they’ll just laugh. You probably haven’t been hit with chemical resistance like we have, but you will be. Its not nonsense, its a train wreck. As far as Governments requiring a 3 year rotation. You may need to reread what I wrote.

  4. I don’t need to reread anything. “Governments are requiring 3 year rotations and covercrops grown between grain crops.” The University? Which one? How is back to pre glyphosate “worse” All anecdotes with no proof.

  5. There is no government requirement for rotations. As Eric mentions if weeds were completely resistant to glyphosate we would just be back to before glyphosate. The weeds haven’t become larger etc. They are not super weeds running rampant. Its taken 22 years for weed resistance to get to this stage and before glyphosate there was weed resistance and insect resistance.

  6. Are you saying there is no insect resistance to pesticide use in the EU? Every way we use to protect against pests – the pest become resistant. For impel for root worms farmers rotated to soybeans but the root worms started going to diapause (delaying hatch for a year so that they can grow in the next corn not soybeans). Before glyphosate soy farmers had to use a range of herbicides to protect against weeds. Now after 22 years farmers have to do more again but having plants that are now tolerant to more herbicides gives them more choices and approaches

  7. Anyone who doesn’t mention specific locations and provide real citations can’t be taken seriously.

  8. “I guess your not in an area that has glyphosate resistant weeds?”
    Many areas have one or more weed types that are resistant to glyphosate. This really isn’t any different than the weeds that have resistance to other herbicides and we’ve been dealing with that for 30+ years now.
    “You haven’t seen palmer amaranth take over yet?”
    We have had Palmer introduced into about 50 counties in IA. The vast majority of those introductions were caused by contaminated CRP seed. There is a very concentrated effort here to control Palmer, it was also declared a noxious weed by the state in 2017.
    “When the University comes out and is telling everyone to work the weeds in as deep as they can get them, then its a problem.”
    Who is saying this? And for control of what weed(s)? Speaking in generalities isn’t useful.
    “We’ve also got mares tail we can’t kill any more.”
    Resistance to what herbicide(s) specifically?
    “The only solution the coops are offering is spraying dicamba and 2-4D. Its drifting everywhere.”
    I have 3 comments. 1) Co-ops are usually pretty good, but it’s the farmer that needs to make the decisions for weed management. A good producer is going to get advice from extension and independent agronomists for control. 2) Marestail is a winter annual, the time to control it is at planting time, not in the summer when you see a big escape. Using dicamba or 2,4-D is not a problem for spring burndown, the time you should be controlling foxtail, because there generally aren’t any crops around that early that could be damaged. 3) Foxtail control strategy with herbicides is going to depend on the crop going in. If you’re looking for advice, you need to be specific about what crop and your area. It’s not a case of glyphosate resistant foxtail being some intractable problem.
    ” I’ve got neighbors plowing no-till ground up.”
    Where? What are the circumstances? I can see that needing to be done if a farmer has done a poor job of management. Be more specific.
    ” If you ask anyone around me how well their roundup works, they’ll just laugh.”
    Again, where is around you? What I’m getting from your posts is drama-queening against GE seed (for no solid reason) and glyphosate. A rational and well informed farmer is going to know that yes, glyphosate resistance occurs and you deal with it the same way you deal with other cases of herbicide resistance, you don’t paint some woe-is-me apocalyptic situation that doesn’t exist in reality.
    Based on the lack of specificity in your posts, along with the arm-waving about GE seeds and glyphosate, I rather doubt that you farm. Coupled with the fact that you just created you disqus account yesterday apparently to comment just on biofortified (which isn’t exactly a leading site in the ag community) leads me to think that you’re just another activist pretending to be someone you’re not.

  9. What? What university is making these recommendations? Tell us so we can ask them why? PSU certainly hasn’t made that recommendation.

  10. Eric Being you can’t read. I’ll repost it for you. When I was in Europe last fall, farmers were concerned about letting GMO seed into their countries for fear of the same weed and insect resistance that the US is having. Governments are requiring 3 year rotations and covercrops grown between grain crops. This seems to be the “NEW” preferred choice to control weeds, insects and disease.
    My farm has been in the seed production business for 63 years. So I haven’t just fallen off the turnip truck. I can say hands down a crop rotation with both summer and winter annuals does more for weed, insert, and disease control than beating our heads against the wall totally relying on genetic engineering. I think Europe is doing the right thing and promoting crop rotations. I’m not a big fan of government tell farmers what to do. But in the end we jump to the consumer and they can out vote us on any decision they want.

  11. I read correctly. You have still provided no names of alleged gov’ts or copies of statutes. “Farmers were concerned” So, you found a very few so that you could add that S without lying, eh? “totally relying on GE?” Nobody advocates that. Another myth. Also, consumers can’t vote us out any time they want. at least not without hunger, violence, replacing us. Sounds to me like you are trying to prevent improvements to the turnip truck.

  12. You have to be pretty daft to re-post something that I correctly read, quoted, and responded to.

  13. And you’re speaking in more generalities again. Along with being insulting someone who is legitimately challenging your unattributed claims. I see the insults in response to challenges frequently from activist types.
    I’m looking forward to your answers to my questions. Really I am.

  14. Oh, good lord Joe, don’t you go to any winter conferences and talk to farmers? Its no big secret that theres a concern going on about chemical resistant weeds. My local equipment dealer was amused when he told me he sold a brand new disc, and he hadn’t sold one in over 15 years. There is a waiting line on high speed disc. I thought the disc went the way of the plow that went the way of the dinosaur. Now people are dragging them out of the tree lines. So if I question a product that I’ve been buying I’m now an activist. lol.

  15. Let’s see you answer my questions. Then I’ll be more than willing to dissect your latest post.
    Is there some reason why you’re avoiding answering?

  16. I’ll just wait untill you guys see the weed resistance thats occurring around me. Then we’ll see how “daft” I am. I’m not going to beat a dead horse. I think most farmers are able to relate to the message I originally wrote. I don’t need to drag names into the argument. Sometimes you run into people that have their blinders on so tight that they can’t see. When you have farmers burning the leaves on the crops of their neighbors, it gets to be a big issue. No one likes to get legally involved with a neighbor. It seems that spraying banvil is more important than worrying about killing your neighbors garden and flowers, or killing the neighbors vineyard or fruit trees. When I see that happening I look back and ask how did we get here? And I catch holy hell for questioning it. I get labeled an activist. Some day’s I’m embarrassed to be a farmer with stupid comments like that. its not worth posting any more comments. you guys have a nice day.

  17. I can’t say that I’m surprised that you were unable to answer my questions.
    “Sometimes you run into people that have their blinders on so tight that they can’t see.”
    I don’t think anyone here denied that there are weeds that are resistant to herbicides. This is nothing new. You tried to make it about GE crops and glyphosate, but failed.
    ” When you have farmers burning the leaves on the crops of their neighbors, it gets to be a big issue. No one likes to get legally involved with a neighbor. It seems that spraying banvil is more
    important than worrying about killing your neighbors garden and flowers, or killing the neighbors vineyard or fruit trees.”
    That statement tells me that you don’t actually farm. Not just because you can’t spell Banvel correctly, that’s fairly minor. What gives you away is acting like herbicide drift is some new problem created by GE crops. It’s not. Old dimethylamine formulations of dicamba, like Banvel have been around since 1965. If I’m going to use dicamba and think there’s a possibility of damage, I’ll use Clarity or Status or NorthStar. There is a well established process for making damage claims, there has been for many years. No one wants to cause a drift or volatilization damage but it happens sometimes in spite of efforts not to.
    No one is afraid to talk to neighbors about it and no one is afraid to make a claim. Herbicide damage is almost always obvious. I’ve never seen a case where the applicator didn’t own up to it when it happened. You are attempting to create fear and doubt with nothing.
    You try to make it sound like farmers using dicamba are being irresponsible and don’t care. Well, if you were really a farmer, you would know the crops you are most likely to damage with a herbicide drift or volatilization problem are your own crops!
    ” its not worth posting any more comments. you guys have a nice day.”
    No, it’s not when you type a bunch of tall tales.

  18. I had a neighbor spray banvil “sorry my spell check spells it that way” It was in Status. It cupped the leaves of 5 bean fields around it. Seed corn is a heavy user of status in my area. I’m assuming you know that seed corn doesn’t shade the ground and is more prone to weed problems? Some fields get so thick with weeds that it plugs up the belt conveyors right before the discharge fan. Seed is more sensitive to chemicals and a lot of companies require you to use reduced rates. Then farmers like yourself will blame the seed corn producer for creating the weed problem. So don’t tell me Status doesn’t drift. Now the problem is the co-op that sprays it tells you that they will take care of your damage. And I think they “are” saying that in good faith. But it gets passed of to their insurers and you get a letter to prove that you have damage. Now you have to go to battle with an insurance company at your own expense. I’ve got just such a letter. But what do I know about farming.

  19. “I had a neighbor spray banvil “sorry my spell check spells it that way”
    It was in Status. It cupped the leaves of 5 bean fields around it.”
    Around it as in multiple directions from the field? What were the conditions when the Status was sprayed? Wind speed, direction, temperature, what nozzles were used, how high was the spray bar above the corn?
    “Seed corn is a heavy user of status in my area.”
    Status is popular in corn production in general, not just seed production.
    “I’m assuming you know that seed corn doesn’t shade the ground and is more prone to weed problems?”
    That doesn’t have anything to do with the situation. Status is going to be applied around V5-V6, definitely no later than V8.
    “Some fields get so thick with weeds that it plugs up the belt conveyors right before the discharge fan.”
    Not in any seed production field I’ve ever seen. I’m calling BS.
    “Seed is more sensitive to chemicals and a lot of companies require you to use reduced rates.”
    Inbred lines are more sensitive to herbicide damage, yes. But that really doesn’t have anything to do with drift damage, other than it would probably be diminished somewhat if a lower rate of Status is being applied.
    “Then farmers like yourself will blame the seed corn producer for creating the weed problem.”
    Why do you think seed purity laws were created over a century ago? But again, this has nothing to do with drift damage.
    “So don’t tell me Status doesn’t drift.”
    I didn’t say that. I said if I were in a situation where I had a drift concern, I would use Status over Banvel. Or Clarity or NorthStar over Banvel.
    “Now the problem is the co-op that sprays it tells you that they will
    take care of your damage. And I think they “are” saying that in good
    faith. But it gets passed of to their insurers and you get a letter to
    prove that you have damage. Now you have to go to battle with an
    insurance company at your own expense. I’ve got just such a letter.”
    Did you just think you could sit around and wait for a check? What you do is meet the applicator’s insurance adjuster, map the areas (easy with GPS, just hit the button to set a pin) and agree on extent of damage. And you take a lot of pictures to document. (again, easy with a smartphone, you can geotag your pics, too). You have to be there to get the adjuster to see the full scope of any damage. This is really basic stuff. What expense are you incurring? A few hours of your time. Yeah, it’s a PITA, but something you just have to deal with. It’s not some epic event.
    And absolutely none of this has anything to do with your original arm-waving over GE seed and glyphosate.

  20. Steve’s right as far as are we asking the right question. Biotech is a safe breeding method. That is settled and honestly while this meta-analysis is nice, a better question to ask is whether certain biotech traits contribute to sustainability. That said, I think we aren’t ready to ask that question, at least not across the whole spectrum of what is possible with biotechnology. Due to an onerous regulatory system that costs millions of dollars and a decade of time to get a new trait to market (just for the US, add on much more $ and time for other countries), we basically only have herbicide tolerance and insect resistance, which is only a small fraction of what is possible.
    We can ask whether these two traits have contributed to sustainability. In the short term, the answer is yes. Glyphosate is a very safe herbicide, and allowing farmers to use it in a new way reduced the amount of other, more toxic herbicides. Herbicide tolerance also allowed reduction of tillage, which means less erosion. Similarly, Bt is a very safe insecticide and its use allowed farmers to reduce the amount of other, more toxic insecticides. In the long term, the answer is uncertain. Pests become tolerant of pesticides when we over use them. And these two pesticides have been over used.
    Few people think “GMOs” are the savior of agriculture, aside from those selling them. We have many posts in the Biofortified Blog archives going back nearly 10 years about how biotech is not a silver bullet, and honestly, nothing is a silver bullet for anything. We need to think in systems and have multiple, redundant layers.
    I’m not a farmer but I do pay attention, and what I see is over reliance on certain tools. I don’t blame the farmers; it makes business sense to choose the cheapest, easiest methods to produce your product. To borrow an example from medicine, while we have antibiotics to kill bacteria, we should still wash our hands and use sanitary practices. Many (not all, but enough) corn and soy farmers metaphorically stopped washing their hands. The problem isn’t “GMOs”. It’s the way these two traits have been used in an unstable system. We could ban agricultural biotech, but that would leave all the other problems we have. We need more tools, not less, and society needs to incentivize sustainable practices – but based on science, not based on arbitrary lines like what is “natural”.
    Side note – I’d appreciate any trustworthy links about these supposed European requirements for 3 year rotations. It seems like a sure fire way to increase the price of grain while also causing farms to go out of business.

  21. Are those same universities telling farmers to stop growing Clearfield crops? That family of herbicides, although not as widely used, has far more resistant varieties of weed than glyphosate. Why were those EU farmers worried about GMO seed because of glyphosate-resistant weeds when most countries in the EU do not grow GM crops? And those that do use Bt crops. Or are you trying to claim that glyphosate resistance in weeds is somehow mysteriously tied to the seed rather than the herbicide? Conventional farmers in the EU use glyphosate, can produce glyphosate-resistant weeds and GM crops have nothing to do with it.

  22. If they would bring in RR seed, then glyphosate could end up getting sprayed on every acre like it was done here. Thats where you start getting resistant weeds. Right now they can use roundup, but its not sprayed on the crops. It would be like how we used to use RR back before GMO seed was created. More of just a burn down chemical or rope wick. I had to laugh this year. I’ve never seen so many new rope wicks being used. Farmers are even pouring 2-4D into them trying to kill the resistant weeds. Most of the younger farmers didn’t even know what a rope wick was till this year. The “rumor” in Germany was that monsanto is for a ban on glyphosate, because they no longer make any money off that chemical since the patent went out. And they have a newer chemical to replace it. So take that with a grain of salt.

  23. Conventional farmers in the EU use glyphosate to control weeds, just like it was used prior to the introduction of herbicide-resistant crops. Why would farmers be worried about RR seed when only two crops are approved for cultivation in the EU? Both approved maize varieties are Bt modified and not herbicide resistant. Why would farmers be worried about what they are not allowed grow?
    “That is where you start getting resistant weeds”? You get resistant weeds courtesy of selective pressure. Basic evolutionary biology. It is not exclusive to glyphosate since it is a herbicide with one of the lowest numbers of varieties of resistant weed types. Why, oh why would spraying on a crop produce more resistant weeds? One has nothing to do with the other. It doesn’t make any sense. Get thee to a science class.

  24. Well, I can show you all the pics you want of weeds that became resistant to the over use of chemicals. maybe that would make sense.

  25. Did I say anything in my comment about herbicide-resistant weeds not existing? No. But you are consistently blaming only glyphosate and HR crops for all herbicide resistant weeds no matter how many times people try to correct you. What you are doing is looking at the weed resistance problem through tunnel vision. How about you look at the global database of herbicide-resistant weeds so that you can find out the full ramifications of how many weeds are resistant to the many types of herbicide in use? http://www.weedscience.org/
    Look at the European map of weed resistance. France leads the pack with 50 unique resistant weeds. None of the US states have that many unique resistant weeds. So why does France have such a weed problem and only 3 out of those 50 weeds are resistant to glyphosate?

  26. So when you spray mares tail with glyphosate and it doesn’t die, then its NOT resistant to glyphosate? Or when you spray ragweed, water hemp, and palmer amaranth with glyphosate and it doesn’t die, its not resistant to glyphosate? That seems contrary to what the university information being presented.

  27. On your link they show a combine picking a field of corn full of glyphosate resistant ragweed. Your saying that weeds arn’t resistant to ragweed? I’m cornfused

  28. Hmmmm your article says this.
    The herbicide glyphosate has been commercially available for 40 years. It is one of the most frequently used herbicides in the UK in all crop production systems, including annual and perennial crops, and non-cropped areas. There are currently no known cases of glyphosate resistance in the UK, however, globally, resistance to glyphosate has evolved as a result of repeated use and over-reliance.
    Current changes in usage patterns in the UK are potentially increasing the risk of glyphosate resistance development. An over-reliance on a limited group of herbicide modes of action has accelerated the development of herbicide-resistant grass weeds, particularly black- grass (Alopecurus myosuroides). This has been mainly due to a lack of new herbicides, regulatory policy changes, a limited crop rotation and the under-exploitation of cultural control practices.

  29. I challenge you to bring up one sentence where I stated that glyphosate-resistant weeds do not exist. One sentence. In fact, I clearly stated that 3 out of the 50 unique varieties of weeds in France are glyphosate resistant. I also brought up the herbicide-resistant weed database that lists resistant weeds by type of herbicide, including glyphosate. Apparently, you chose not to look at the database. So why are you choosing to misinterpret my words?
    Let me give you some numbers from the herbicide-resistant weed database:
    Number of species of weed resistant to glyphosate: 41
    Number of species of weed resistant to ALS inhibitors: 160
    Number of species of weed resistant to ACCase inhibitors: 48
    Now maybe you can see why focusing only on glyphosate and glyphosate-resistant crops makes no sense in terms of the overall problem of weed control on farms all over the globe.

  30. Learn how to read – I never said I’ve never seen resistance.
    You still haven’t answered my questions. You just complain but provide no facts.

  31. I totally agree that there is only a limited range of herbicide modes of action—very reminiscent of the problem with human antibiotics. How do you propose that we discover and develop new selective mechanisms of action, combined with novel, effective and safe chemistries?
    [If you have a really good idea, don’t respond here; just contact me privately so I can invest or help you file a patent.]
    You also raise the idea of “over-reliance” (as do folks complaining about antibiotics). Assuming this is true, how do you propose the world should address this?

  32. I don’t think I’ll bother explaining how to reduce inputs, weeds, and fertilizer with crop rotation. I posted a paragraph below and Anastasia removed it. It doesn’t fit the agenda when you show farmers how to grow high yielding crops with less input and without GMO’s. It doesn’t matter what you do in this world, its all about the money in the end. When I give presentations to farmers I choose those that really want to learn, not those that have their head in the sand. I’m really disappointed in Biofortified. I always assumed that they were here to help farmers reduce their reliance on inputs.

  33. Joe Farmer to Steve Kersey from 16 hours ago:
    “Learn how to read – I never said I’ve never seen resistance.
    You still haven’t answered my questions. You just complain but provide no facts.”
    And you are trying to give the link I gave you as some sort of proof that seed corn causes pesticide resistance? You owe me a new irony meter.

  34. “I don’t think I’ll bother explaining how to reduce inputs, weeds, and fertilizer with crop rotation.”
    I don’t think anyone is going to be too upset about that. You still haven’t answered my simple and direct questions, I doubt that you’d answer the questions that would certainly be generated if you did attempt to explain your input reduction strategy.
    “It doesn’t fit the agenda when you show farmers how to grow high yielding crops with less input and without GMO’s.
    What agenda?
    “It doesn’t matter what you do in this world, its all about the money in the end.”
    Farming is a business. If, as you claim, you “show farmers” whatever it is, you should know that.
    “When I give presentations to farmers I choose those that really want to learn, not those that have their head in the sand.”
    Oh, so you restrict attendance to these supposed presentations then? How exactly do you do that? How about sharing your Powerpoint slides or some other materials from one of these presentations?
    “I always assumed that they were here to help farmers reduce their reliance on inputs.”
    Did you notice the first graphic in the article? When the meta-analysis shows greater yield and less crop damage, doesn’t that mean a decrease in inputs for a given yield level?

  35. You know Joe, its just not worth answering. Its just like explaining to a democrat that socialism is the wrong road. You can argue all day and at the end of they day, their still a democrat.

  36. I’ve got to say that I’m not the least bit surprised by your reply…
    A person with confidence in their ideas and real subject matter knowledge wouldn’t shy away.
    Edited to add: I’m not sure why you would even bring up political affiliation – it has nothing to do with agricultural technology.

  37. Hmmm…do you “choose” the easily deluded sycophants who will be indoctrinated by your “presentations”, or do they gravitate to your eccentric drivel and effectively self-select? Either way, you’re preaching in an echo chamber. And that’s exactly the way you prefer it, no? We all can see for ourselves how your notional ideology collapses under its own weight in the presence of a more worldly and experienced audience. Seems you can’t answer the simplest of questions, on this thread, at least. None among us has any difficulty taking your measure.

  38. Can’t control? Sounds like you are not using a very good program then. As for 2,4-d drifting everywhere? Again it sounds like you are using the wrong version as there are several types. Sounds like you need a better crop advisor.

  39. They don’t know much about farming if they are going to pull a disc much as it has been proven about the only thing they do is add to compaction.

  40. Who still sprays banvil? You don’t even know there are better versions out there? And you say you are a real farmer?

  41. Status has very little dicamba in it. I sell around thirty thousand acres of the product per year. It is by far my favorite corn herbicide. It moves, but not very far, as we have cupped beans all over our county. We have never paid on a drift claim and my basf rep claims they have never paid on a status drift case as well. Why? We have called in the insurance and done yield checks plenty of times. What did we find? 80 to 90% of the time zero difference and the rest? We actually increased yield. Strange how no one ever offered to share the extra with us though, or even say thank you for that matter.

  42. John Deere just had a planter meeting and one of the topics was Dicamba. They showed an 80 acre field of beans that had the whole field cupped. It only yielded 43 bu. Which didn’t make the farmer very happy. He had a seed corn field bordering one side and Dicamba soybeans on the other. The seed had status sprayed and the soybeans had the new low volatile dicamba sprayed on it. They had a pic of all three farmers in the field with the seed rep, chemical rep, state inspector, university people and the applicator. And things didn’t look too chummy. The farmer had to eat the loss because he couldn’t prove who caused the damage. Farmers at the meeting were questioning why there are no restrictions on the status, as there are on the dicamba sprayed on the beans. I don’t think he thought the drift was as funny as you think it is. I saw a field of seed corn last year sprayed with status that cupped the leaves of all the isolation rows. The beans didn’t even canopy, and yielded poorly. Then another neighbor sprayed status on his field corn and it cupped the leaves of all 5 fields of soybeans surrounding him. Then there was a vineyard north of me that lost his crop of grapes and he had to stand the loss. There was also a neighbor that has a beautiful display of flowers over her whole acreage, and she had them all twisted up with drift. The field reps in this area say that we had unusual hot humid weather and thats the reason for the drift and inversions. So we just pass it off as a fluke. Tell that to the innocent farmers that didn’t use the herbicides that drift, and had to take the loss. The farmers that never switched to no-till have faired the best on weed control, and get some of the higher yields. Dicamba and 2-4D resistant crops are poor excuses for weed control.

  43. I can not speak for all area, what I do know is that the timing of status is usually when beans are very small, and they grow and the damage is cosmetic. Yes the beans will be shorter, and the internodes will shorten up and the plant will have more pods. This is because dicamba is a growth regulator meaning that it changes the way the plant grows. Furthermore, we use 2 1/2 ozs of status, which is a 44% dicamba product. That means that we apply 1.1 ozs of actual dicamba per acre. Compared with Engenia, the most popular dicamba for soybeans, it is a 5 pound per gallon of dicamba. At a rate of 12.8 ozs per acre a persons is applying 8 ozs of actual dicamba. Almost 8 times the amount of Status. Add this to the fact that Engenia is generally sprayed at a much later date than Status, which means the surrounding soybeans are at a later growth stage and could sustain damage that they can’t grow out of. As for spraying next to grapes? Then they were idiots for attempting to do so. We have many other crops in our part of the world as well with the main ones being melons. We refuse to spray status next to them and even with the replacements will use drops and no drift very liberally. As for your “The farmers that never switched to no-till have faired the best on weed control, and get some of the higher yields.” That is simply not true in my area as well, and we handle the weed pressure very well with several different programs. As for your final comment on 2,4-D crops? What crops would that be? Cotton? 2,4-D Cotton has been out for 2 years now and to my knowledge has zero complaints against it. I would be interested for you to post some if you know of them.

  44. Herbicide resistance is obviously a big issue, but also can effects on nutritional values, from chemical applications in general, cause adverse effects that are unintended? What research might focus on nutritional changes in heavily sprayed crops? What about just in corn?

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