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Ollie1983
Frequent Contributor

Teach me about GM crops

Hoping you guys can learn me something new, as you know we aren't allowed to grow GM anything here.

 

First of all, spreaking of roundup ready or glutfosinate ammonoium/HT whatever crops.

 

- Are they cost effective to grow, I understand the seed costs more than conventional, are the savings on chemistry enough to offset this?

 

-Does it make the crop and others in your rotation easier to grow?

 

-What about GM volunteers in subsequent crops,  are they a problem?

 

-Is it better for your land/soil and system to have herbicide tolerant crops?

 

-Have you encountered resistance or have HT crops not lived up to their billing?? IE are you using less chemistry on crops or just different ones?

 

All in the interests of learning about this stuff. I'd appreciate it if you gave the low down on how you cultivate and grow your crops, too, given that over here we have some rather different ideas about fertiliser, spray use etc.

 

Many thanks in advance. Hope I don't come across wrong, but i'm not looking for anti GM ammunition, rather I want to learn from the horses mouth so to speak. I find the field of biotechnology fascinatiing.

 

Ollie 

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24 Replies

Re: Teach me about GM crops

  The seed does cost more, but it's worth it.  Yields have vastly improved.  No till makes it easier, faster, and you can farm more land.   But after 15 years some weeds are developing resistance to roundup.

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Ollie1983
Frequent Contributor

Re: Teach me about GM crops

Fair enough. Can you tell me how you would remove volunteer RR corn in RR soya though??

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Re: Teach me about GM crops

  No I can't.  There are so many chemicals out there and combinations thereof that I can't keep track of them all.  I have the elevator spray for me so I am not up on those things as much as others on this board are.  Most if not all of the latest in yield ehancing technology goes to RU ready seed production.  2-4-D is making a come back as an added tank mix with Roundup  for preplant burndown in beans but it requires a waiting period before palnting.  Pupdaddy is 1  of the more knowledgeble posters on here on chemicals.

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Ollie1983
Frequent Contributor

Re: Teach me about GM crops

Ah, so you are still using a traditional pre-planting spray off?? Normally in this country, we would cultivate/disc or leg type machines or even run chisel plough type cultivators behind the combine. Wait for it to green up, 'the stale seedbed' (rain helps) and then in with a couple of litres/ha of roundup, wait a few days and drill.

 

So my main point was, if you are growing a number of RR crops in rotation, you are able to control volunteers in the subsequent crop without obviously using glyphosate?

 

A number of environmentalist types over here are claiming that the only way you guys can deal with RR corn in RR soya is by hand weeding it out...

 

As I understand it roundup ready and glufosinate ammonium (liberty in your neck of the woods) tolerant crops are indeed two distinct entities and a GM crop would not be resistant to both since they have different modes of action.

 

Over here we have a bit of a dependance on things like roundup, we use it for non-crop areas, as well as preplanting and sometimes preharvest dessication- a more healthy alternative to things like paraquat and diquat (reglone) which of course are evil.

 

Do GM crops really save a lot of diesel, steel and additional spray applications in practice?

 

Many thanks 

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centralillinois
Veteran Contributor

Re: Teach me about GM crops

In the last forty years three things have made farming much easier and more productive.  Air conditioned cabs, no-till soybeans and roundup technology.  Without them I'm not sure if I would be farming or wouldn't enjoy it as much.  No-till soybeans require far less labor per acre than conventional soybeans and save a great deal of expensive diesel fuel.  They also can be grown with far less soil erosion than conventional beans.  Roundup makes if much easier and is more effective controlling weeds.  Our yields have increased dramatically over the past couple decades.  There is some resistance over the years but rotating liberty and other producst should help control this problem.  Without roundup soil erosion would be a serious problem in this neighborhood. 

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Blacksandfarmer
Senior Advisor

Re: Teach me about GM crops

Yes, I would say RR crops save a lot of fuel. If we cultivated soybeans we could almost count on another pass through the field compared to a spray of roundup. If a tractor burned 8 gallons of fuel an hour on that extra pass over the field times every field in the US, we would burn millions of extra gallons of fuel a year. Volunteer RR corn in soybeans is pretty easy to control with a number of herbicides that can be mixed with roundup. I would say RR crops have made farming more profitable for farmers here. My main concern is that some farmers will abuse roundup and use it as their only way of killing weeds in both corn and soybeans on every acre every year making roundup resistant weeds.

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Ollie1983
Frequent Contributor

Re: Teach me about GM crops

Thanks a lot guys a lot of what you say makes a lot of sense. I would not say no-till has been greatly accepted over here. A lot of farms now practice minimum tillage though, the jump to that technique was hard enough as before a lot of mould board ploughing was done, today the cost of labour and diesel makes ploughing a slow and expensive process. Certainly where I am from in Dorset the soils are too thin and chalky to be ploughed very heavily or very often, it loses a lot of moisture from the soil which does not help establishment.

 

In the 1980's a lot of people tried direct drilling, it worked well because at that time we were allowed to burn our straw behind the combines, which of course got rid of the trash that made the system problematic. Then came the rise of the grass weeds. We relied heavily on chemistry like paraquat at the time and eventually people had to go back to the plough to deal with the grass weed problem.

 

Today we have come full circle again, a lot of people are direct drilling linseed or canola/Oilseed rape these days and it works well if the conditions are right, saving fuel and protecting the soil, whilst giving similar yields.

 

I buy a heck of a lot of soyabean meal over here, though I know little about the crop itself. Is it a good/easy crop to grow? 

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Re: Teach me about GM crops

   I haven't seen hand weeding, hoeing, in over 30 years.   Gmo crops have cut fuel use dramatically.  1 spraying might do it in corn and 2 are usually necessary in beans.  Fall tillage does work good in some situations and then plant in a stale seed bed come spring.  I have done that where I have dandelion weed problems.

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Re: Teach me about GM crops

  The other posters gave you good information.  I forgot about wheat or a similar crop.  No till, at least for me doesn't work after wheat.  Even if I cut the wheat close to the ground and bale off the straw.  It keeps the ground wet a long time the following spring.   Now, double cropping behind wheat seems to work for some but I am too far north to have much luck with it.   After wheat I will spread manure on the ground, chisel plow it, and field cultivate or disc it to be level for the next year.   This is on flat as a board clay soils.   So flat we sometimes have trouble getting the 1 inch fall per 100 feet when we tile.

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