Rethink on glyphosate for WA farm

10 Sep, 2011 04:00 AM

After seeing Don Huber lay out the evidence for glyphosate's potential to inhibit nutrient takeup in crops, WA farmer Brad Jones is re-examining the herbicide's place on his farm.

That's not going to be easy, he acknowledges, but Dr Huber's presentation in Perth this week has added to a pre-existing unease about the heavy reliance on the chemical and persuaded him that it is a challenge worth tackling.

Mr Jones and wife Kate farm at "Bungulla" near Tammin, Western Australia, and are co-owners with Mr Jones's brother Mike of the WA-Queensland aerial application business Cropcair.

Mr Jones has been using precision agriculture technologies to wring every drop of potential from each plant. He now wonders whether he might realise even more potential by lowering his use of glyphosate, or counteracting its use with applications of trace elements.

For instance, last year Mr Jones flew a multi-element trace element brew in test patterns onto his crops. When he pulled up the subsequent yield maps, the positive crop response to the minerals "looked like tiger stripes", he said.

He now wants to assess whether glyphosate influenced that result by tying up a proportion of minerals that might have otherwise gone into the crop.

He is also looking for ways to assess glyphosate's effect on plant strength - an increasingly important criteria as climatic extremes grow more extreme.

Mr Jones has the tools to monitor a change of management, either by lowering glyphosate use or counteracting its use.

What he lacks is a way to change without dreaming up an entirely new farming system.

"It's going to take some serious thinking," Mr Jones said.

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14/09/2011 11:46:48 PM

Perhaps Brad will be open to looking at Bio Dynamic farming. He might be surprised at the results these farmers get without having to use any glyphosate at all. He's reached a time when he's open to reevaluating his approach to farming so keep looking around
Ian Mott
16/09/2011 3:16:21 PM

Just read the full thread on the "raining glyphosphate" post above, Brad. You have been sold a bit of first rate "much ado about sweet FA" by a first rate shonkademic seeking to obtain a funding benefit by deception. The so called problem residues have a half life of only 32 days and are at dosage levels that are just 1/20,000th of a standard 1 litre/ha spray application.
13/10/2011 9:12:11 AM

Glyphospate damage to soil biota and the vital life of the soil will occur within hours of application. The idea of a 32 day residue issue is hog-wash. Glyphosate is anti-soil life. The Glyphosate promoters live in an era of belief that the soil is a chemical system and have no idea about biology drives the soil and plant production system. Biological farming is the only viable option and Brad Jones has make the right decision. He now needs to spray biology and trace minerals from his plane.
3/10/2016 5:31:53 PM

Matthew, I was wondering if you had followed up this story with the farmer after the whole IACR's assessment on glyphosate being carcinogenic in Mar 2015 bombshell? (Which was then counteracted with our own APVMA's assessment, saying it remains safe.) Sounds like a conspiracy theory when you throw in the fact that it was Monsato's original formula, so would be interesting to talk about this once more!


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Sorry did i get it wrong..? Rankins Springs is still open..?!
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No doubt a few frosted Freddies out there who will wish they had taken a closer look at the AGC
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Matthew, I was wondering if you had followed up this story with the farmer after the whole