GM Free Cymru

North Dakota farmers encouraged to use glyphosate-sprayed crops for feed, not seed

Not sure that anybody noticed this on this side of the Pond.......... but on the other side they all seem to be going insane.

Last December, the journal "Farm and Ranch Guide" (which reaches at least 40,000 farmers in North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana) carried a piece from Steve Sebesta, Deputy Commissioner in the State Seed Department, in which he warned of the damage done to many crops (including wheat, durum, flax, lentils and field peas) by the practice of spraying with Roundup or glyphosate. The use of Roundup (don't let's pretend it's just glyphosate, because most of it is proprietary and patented Roundup) as a "harvest aid" or "dry-down agent" is becoming more and more widespread, especially after a wet summer, both in the USA and Canada, and also in Europe.

Sebesta says that there has been more and more "poor seed germination" in recent years, and that this is directly attributable to the use of Roundup immediately prior to harvest. In an example, he shows that 98% of seeds collected in a sample of field peas were abnormal, lacking in essential seed parts. These deformities or mutations would result in widespread crop failures in the following year, if the seed was to be saved and sown. In other words, 98% of the seeds sprayed with Roundup prior to harvest are non-viable, deformed or decayed. This is an extraordinarily high percentage..........

It is quite incredible that Sebesta then urges farmers NOT to save the seed for future use, in view of the fact that it is irreparably damaged by the toxins contained in Roundup -- the implication being that it is better to use it for food and feed instead. "It's grain, not seed," says Sebesta. It does not seem to have occurred to the author of this piece that if something is too poisoned to be viable as seed, it is quite probably very stupid indeed even to think of it as safe enough for animals and human beings to eat.

If this is the mind-set of the farm advisers in the American mid-west, we wonder what is happening to the health of the farm animals and humans who happen to be consuming this lethal concoction of Roundup residues and poisoned plant tissues.

98 reasons not to use glyphosate on seed fields. Don’t use glyphosate as a harvest aid in seed fields!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

By STEVE SEBESTA Deputy Commissioner North Dakota State Seed Dept

Planning to use saved seed next year for planting? If you used glyphosate as a harvest aid last year, you’d better reconsider.

Used properly, glyphosate is a terrific product. In recent years, however, our seed lab has seen an increase in samples with poor germination that has been attributed to the use of glyphosate as a harvest aid. We have seen numerous examples in many crops including wheat, durum, flax, lentils and field peas.

For several years, the department has been educating seed growers that glyphosate should not be used on seed crops. Manufacturers warn against its use on seed crops and that information is published in the NDSU Weed Control Guide every year. We are unsure whether there is a lack of awareness of the problem or if people are simply willing to take the risk. Regardless, continued educational efforts on our part are needed.

In case you doubt what you have read or heard, here are 98 reasons why you shouldn’t use glyphosate on a seed crop. The picture below shows the affect of glyphosate on field peas. This sample had a germination score of 2%. 98% were abnormal.

More importantly, if you performed a “home germination test” and saw results like this, you might think that seed was good. Wrong! All of the seed pictured at right are abnormal. Abnormal seedlings will not produce a viable, productive plant because they are lacking essential plant parts.

The Association of Official Seed Analysts (AOSA) Training Manual defines an abnormal seedling as one that does not have all the essential structures or is damaged, deformed or decayed to such an extent that normal development is prevented.

In dicotyledonous plants such as field peas, essential structures include the primary root, secondary roots, cotyledon and epicotyl (stem, scale leaf and primary leaf). One can easily see that the seedlings in the photo are abnormal compared to the diagram on the right. None of the seedlings shown have a normal stem or root.

If you have relied on “home tests” in the past, we strongly recommend testing seed at an approved seed lab, staffed with professional seed analysts, to accurately determine the quality of seed. The cost of a germination test is inexpensive compared to lost revenues caused by inadequate stands due to poor seed.

Don’t use grain harvested from fields treated with glyphosate as a harvest aid for seed. It’s grain, not seed. Better yet, plant North Dakota Certified Seed that has been field inspected and lab tested to ensure it meets quality standards.