Glyphosate and Safer Alternatives

Glyphosate and Safer Alternatives

Glyphosate and Its Use in Farming

Glyphosate is one of the most popular formulations used in the agriculture industry. Proven to be an effective herbicide element, it has earned its reputation as an important component of a healthy farming scheme.

However, the herbicide, which is now the most popular in the world, has come under fire as well. The product is banned in Australia, and the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer found in 2015 that glyphosate is probably carcinogenic.

On the other hand, Europe is also active concerning the fact of banning glyphosate. Germany for example wants to prohibit the use of the weed killer glyphosate. The chemical glyphosate is blamed for the death of insects and suspected to cause cancer in humans. They want to achieve this by 2023, when the EU’s approval period for it expires, their ministers said.

Here, we give a few important details about it and provide clarity on its usage.

What is Glyphosate?

A lot of non-selective herbicides that we have in the agriculture industry today have glyphosate in them, as a means of helping to control weeds. Essentially, these herbicides control most plants, while selective herbicides are designed to control a certain form of plants.

Non-selective herbicides help to control weeds before the crops are actually planted, and one of the major reasons why glyphosate-based herbicides are used by farmers is the fact that they are cheaper and much more effective at controlling weeds.

Is Glyphosate safe to use?

The effectiveness of glyphosate has so far been proven, but a lot of regulatory agencies have expressed their concerns about it nonetheless. There has been a lot of talk about its effects on the environment and how it affects humans as well, with regulatory agencies all around the world reviewing it.

Currently, there has been registration of the formula in over a hundred countries, while it has been used in herbicides for decades now. To help ensure that it is administered in safe doses, laws have dictated its use, telling applicators such as homeowners and farmers how they can use it and ensure their safety.

However, while there has been a lot of false talk concerning the use of glyphosate and hit it constitutes a safety risk, the truth is that both scientific and regulatory authorities across the world have come to the conclusion that when used in the right proportions and responsibly, glyphosate doesn’t pose a significant threat to human health or the environment.

Glyphosate for Farming

When it comes to farming, there are 4 significant uses of glyphosate:

  1. Used before, during, and after planting to ensure that weeds are kept at a minimal level throughout the process
  2. Fallow applications, which are made after harvest to keep the weeds from using soil moisture.
  3. Pre-harvest applications, which are done after shutting down the weeds and after the maturation of the plant. Glyphosate will ensure that green weeds are dry, and the crop evens its maturity
  4. Crop destruction, when it has been obvious that insects, weeds, and diseases have made it impossible to grow a viable crop. 

All in all, farmers have several ways of getting their weeds in control. Glyphosate, with its proven efficiency, is one of the most effective (yet harmful) of these means at the moment.