Thursday, March 31, 2016

Roundup-Ready alfalfa coming

Forage Genetics International (FGI) said Tuesday it plans to sell some Roundup-Ready alfalfa seed to farmers from Ontario east to the Maritimes.

HarvXtra alfalfa will include Monsanto’s glyphosate-tolerant Roundup Ready genetics plus a trait for lower levels of lignin which is desirable for cattle rations.

Seed quantities are expected to be enough for growers to plant a “small, targeted launch” of less than 5,000 acres of hay, FGI said.

FGI stressed its decision is “confined to the sale of seed for hay production” and not for alfalfa seed production. All HarvXtra seed production for the Eastern Canada market will have taken place in the United States.

Only commercial sales for hay production will be allowed — and the hay can be sold for Canadian domestic use only, the company said.

I wonder how many farmers want this. You would need to establish a stand of only this variety of alfalfa to be able to spray with Roundup or its equivalent. 

So who wants a forage for dairy or beef cattle that is only alfalfa?

And who wants to put that much selective pressure on the weed population? It's going to create an environment where Roundup-resistant weeds will multiply.