Justin Cariker grabs a 7-foot-tall Palmer pigweed at his farm, bending the wrist-thick stem to reveal how it has overwhelmed the cotton plant beneath it.
This is no ordinary weed: Over time it has developed resistance to Monsanto’s (MON) best-selling herbicide, Roundup.Hundreds of such “superweeds” are rising defiantly across this corner of the Mississippi Delta. “We’re not winning the battle,” Cariker, owner of Maud Farms in Dundee, Miss., says as he looks at weeds that tower over his infested cotton field like spindly green scarecrows.
Dow Chemical, DuPont, Syngenta, and Bayer are engineering crops to withstand alternative herbicides that can kill the weeds Roundup no longer can.
Dow expects to begin collecting $1.5 billion in additional profit in 2013 by selling seeds for crops that tolerate a reformulated version of 2,4-D, a herbicide the U.S. first registered for sale in 1948 and one of the chemicals used in the Vietnam War-era defoliant Agent Orange.The Source