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Becoming informed of pending debate

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Every occupation comes with hazards and reasons for debate including farming.

One of the debates currently being discussed about farming is the impending approval and use of soybean varieties that are tolerant of herbicides 2, 4-D and dicamba.

Before anyone can truly comment as to whether or not this should be approved, they need to dig deep and find out the facts.

One way to find out the facts is by using expert reviewed, research-based publications, 2, 4-D and Dicamba-tolerant Crops -- Some Facts to Consider, is a recently Purdue Extension publication published by specialist in Purdue University Botany and Plant Pathology and Horticulture and Landscape Architecture Departments.

Various perspectives on the subject of managing weeds in crops, explanations as to why 2, 4-D and dicamba-tolerant crops were developed, and the concerns surrounding the short- and long-term effects of this technology is discussed in the publication.

Those against herbicide-tolerant crops fear the new technology is unnecessary.

They are afraid that farmers will become more dependent on the intellectual property held by large corporations.

They are also afraid that the use of herbicide-tolerant crops will lead to 2, 4-D and dicamba sensitive crops being injured.

Lastly, they are worried about it leading to additional herbicide resistant weeds.

Currently in Indiana, marestail, giant ragweed and waterhemp are the three weeds that have been documented as glyphosate resistant.

Those for herbicide-tolerant crops state that 2, 4-D and dicamba have been used on millions of acres over time and have not resulted in widespread damage.

They also urge individuals to take precautions to prevent herbicide damage through programs like DriftWatch.

DriftWatch is a tool to help protect pesticide-sensitive crops and habitats from the drift that sometimes occurs when spraying.

Private applicators can use this site to find pesticide-sensitive crops and habitats in their area while owners of pesticide-sensitive crops and habitats can use the site to register their location.

Currently, there are a few locations registered on the site in Clay and Owen counties.

Beekeepers are encouraged to put their hive on the website. You may access the DriftWatch website at http://driftwatch.agriculture.purdue.edu....

This article provided a very brief look at the debate surrounding the impending approval and use of soybean varieties that are tolerant of herbicides 2, 4-D and dicamba.

For a more thorough look at this debate, I encourage individuals to obtain a copy of the Purdue Extension publication ID-453-W, 2, 4-D and Dicamba-tolerant Crops -- Some Facts to Consider. You may obtain your own copy by going to http://www.extension.purdue.edu/extmedia..., or by contacting your local Purdue Extension Office.

As always, if you have any questions or would like information on any agriculture, horticulture or natural resource topic, then please contact your local Purdue Extension Office at 448-9041 in Clay County, or 812-829-5020 in Owen County, or reach me directly at smith535@purdue.edu.

Purdue University is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution.

Upcoming opportunities available to you through Purdue Extension include:

* Dec. 13 -- Last Chance PARP Program, 1 p.m., Clay County 4-H Exhibit Hall,

* Dec. 18 -- Area IBCA Meeting, Clay County 4-H Exhibit Hall,

* Dec. 24-25 -- County holiday, Extension Office closed, and

* Dec. 31 -- Clay County Extension Office closes at noon for county holiday.

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