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Water Management Associations
Weeds Take Root in Crops
Roundup, the commercial name for an herbicide called glyphosate, was marketed to farmers as a miracle weed killer. Monsanto, its manufacturer, genetically engineered cotton and soybean seeds to they were Roundup-resistant. All farmers needed to do was spray on the Roundup. Crops lived and the pigweed died – until it didn’t.

Palmer Amaranth, also known as pigweed, is an ordinary, manageable nuisance weed. Let me correct that – was an ordinary, manageable nuisance weed. The leaves, stems and seeds of Palmer amaranth are edible and highly nutritious, once highly cultivated and eaten by Native Americans across North America. It is both abundant and drought resistant, but it is toxic to livestock and has scarce familiarity as a food source nowadays and the only economic importance to American farmers is as a noxious weed and competitor to more marketable products.

Stanley Culpeper, a weed scientist with the University of Georgia considers palmer amaranth “frankenweed.” A plant he is growing in a cotton crop has grown 8 inches in four days. Pigweed has genetically engineered itself to become Roundup-resistant and the scary part – one female plant will produce in excess of 500,000 seeds.

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Invasive Plant Species can Enhance Coastal Ecosystems - Invasive plant species can be a source of valuable ecosystem functions where native coastal habitats such as salt marshes and oyster reefs have severely declined.

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