Idea to Reduce Glyphosate Use with Grapes

Use Glyphosate When Absolutely Needed

By Mikenzi Meyers, Associate Editor

There is an effort underway to minimize glyphosate use before bud break in grapes. It doesn’t need to be used all the time. A lot of annual weeds can be controlled with several herbicides. Keep the glyphosate for hard to control perennials.

John Roncoroni, a UC Cooperative Extension Weed Science Farm Advisor in Napa County, has made strides toward meeting this challenge. Many times, growers will do two applications of herbicides during the year … but what I’m trying to do is push it back to post-leaf fall after the season to clean up and come back with a pre-emergent material right before bud break then maybe skip that last glyphosate treatment after bud break.

Roncoroni explained that the idea is for grower not to use glyphosate on weeds during the growing season.

Reserve Glyphosate for tough weeds such as field bindweed.

Roncoroni mentioned that he works with school districts and municipalities, and there are many of them want to ban the use of glyphosate.

“It’s not so much the glyphosate molecule; it’s that we have all used so much of it over the years,” he said. “Rely on preemergent materials early in the season and reserve glyphosate as a clean up at the end of the season.”

“My philosophy when I talk to people is to not ban it but to save it for needed use. Maybe we pretend that there are no herbicide alternatives available. We have annual grasses that are easy to kill, then use an alternative herbicide for that. But when you have weeds where you need that systemic benefit of glyphosate, then use it. It is a good molecule, and it has an important fit in weed control, but it does need to be used all the time,” Roncoroni said.

And of course, reading and following the herbicide label will maintain its safety.

Monsanto: Jury Got it Wrong on Glyphosate

A Statement from Monsanto Following San Francisco Verdict

No Evidence that Glyphosate Causes Cancer

By Scott Partridge, Monsanto Vice President

Like everyone else following the Dewayne Johnson v. Monsanto Co. trial, my colleagues and I have deep sympathy for Mr. Johnson’s plight. Our hearts go out to the Johnson family, and we understand their desire for answers. Glyphosate is not the answer. Glyphosate does not cause cancer. The jury got it wrong. We will appeal the jury’s opinion and continue to vigorously defend glyphosate, which is an essential tool for farmers and others. We are confident science will prevail upon appeal.

The jury’s opinion does not change the science. Glyphosate has a more than 40-year history of safe use. Over those four decades, researchers have conducted more than 800 scientific studies and reviews that prove glyphosate does not cause cancer.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Joint FAO/WHO Meeting on Pesticide Residues (JMPR) both recently reaffirmed glyphosate does not cause cancer. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other regulatory authorities in Europe, Canada, Japan, Australia, Korea, and elsewhere routinely review all approved pesticide products and have consistently reaffirmed that glyphosate does not cause cancer.

Rather than arguing the science, the plaintiff’s lawyers repeatedly crossed the line, distorted the facts and used baseless and egregious emotional appeals to inflame the jury. We are deeply troubled by the conduct of the plaintiff’s lawyers in this case. The judge admonished this conduct on several occasions and instructed the jury to ignore these statements. However, we are concerned that this conduct unduly influenced the jury’s deliberations, and we will be raising this issue in our appeal.

The plaintiff’s lawyers know they cannot win on the science. This lawsuit is based solely on the opinion of one organization called IARC. IARC is not a regulatory authority and did no independent studies. IARC is the same organization that determined beer, meat, cell phones, and coffee cause cancer. Investigative reports by Reuters and the Times of London have uncovered that IARC members reviewing glyphosate concealed important scientific data, edited out the conclusions of key studies, and were closely aligned with U.S. trial lawyers.

After IARC’s opinion was announced in 2015, U.S. trial lawyers started running advertising campaigns to recruit people for their lawsuits against Monsanto. There were no lawsuits blaming glyphosate for cancer until after IARC’s opinion. A federal judge overseeing some of these lawsuits recently stated that plaintiffs’ evidence is “shaky” and any lawyer faces a “daunting challenge” in bringing a case to trial based on IARC’s opinion.

Our next step is to file post-trial motions with the Court. Following the Court’s ruling on the motions, we will file our appeal with the California Court of Appeals if needed. We are fully confident that science will prevail in the end. Glyphosate-based herbicides are too important to farmers and others for these baseless lawsuits to go unchallenged.

Glyphosate Does Not Cause Cancer, Study Finds

Glyphosate Cancer Study Turns up Nothing

By Patrick Cavanaugh, Farm News Director

With all the clamor that glyphosate herbicide is a cancer causing material, let the facts tell the real story.

Liza Dunn is an emergency medical doctor and also a medical toxicologist on the faculty at Washington University in St. Louis. And she’s also been working with Monsanto on anything that could show that glyphosate herbicide could not be safe when used correctly.

She discussed a robust study showing no evidence that glyphosate is cancer causing. None!

“The Ag Health Study is a study of more than 57,000 farmers with their pesticide applicators, and they had followed them since the mid ’90s to look at effects of pesticides exposure. And one of the pesticides that they’ve looked at is glyphosate,” Dunn explained.

“In 2005, there was even a journal article that demonstrated that there was no association between glyphosate in any kind of cancer whatsoever. That data was refreshed in 2013, and once again, the data demonstrated unequivocally that there was no association between glyphosate and any kind of cancer,” she said.

However, that second set of data was never published.

“Which is just incredible because the person who had that data said that it would have changed the outcome of the France-based International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) decision.”

“That was in 2015, and why the research was not published is beyond me,” Dunn said.

According to her, IARC is going completely in the wrong direction.

“The IARC have gotten much more involved in looking at things that are not carcinogens, and out of abundance of caution, I guess – I’m not sure what their motivation is – they’ve decided to classify them as carcinogens anyway,” Dunn said.

Hundreds of Studies Point to Glyphosate Being Safe

Herbicide is Non-Toxic if Used Correctly, Expert Says

By Joanne Lui, Associate Editor

Glyphosate herbicide, produced under the well-known brand of Roundup, or any of its generic labels, has been studied around the world with absolutely no findings showing it to be toxic if used correctly. California Ag Today recently interviewed Liza Dunn, an emergency medical doctor, and also a medical toxicologist on the faculty of Washington University in St. Louis, about the herbicide. She’s been working with Monsanto for about a year.

Monsanto has done lots and lots of studies, and not only Monsanto, but there are six full data packages that review using very, very, very intensive laboratory and epidemiologic techniques to look and see if something is actually causing a problem,” Dunn said.

But according to media reports, glyphosate does cause big problems.

“We have never found any problem with any health claim with glyphosate, and this is both independent researchers and researchers who are based with industry, so when you look at the evidence objectively, there is no health claim that has ever been demonstrated with glyphosate. If you use it as directed, it is incredibly, virtually non-toxic,” Dunn explained.

According to Dunn, that’s been proven by more than 100 toxicology studies.

“There are different levels that you have to study when you’re bringing your product to market, so different things that you have to look at. We have produced multiple, multiple studies, way in excess of what regulatory agencies have required, in order to demonstrate the safety and virtual non-toxicity of our product,” Dunn said.

 

Jasieniuk on Weed Evolution

Tracking Herbicide Resistance in Weed Evolution  

By Emily McKay Johnson, Associate Editor

 

Marie Jasieniuk, professor and weed scientist at UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, discussed her groundbreaking research, “I work on the population genetics and evolution of agricultural weeds and invasive plants,” she said. “We use molecular tools to look at the origins and spread of weeds. We also use molecular tools and genetic studies to understand the evolution of herbicide resistance in weeds,” Jasieniuk added, “to be able to propose management approaches that reduce the likelihood of further evolution and spread of resistant weeds.”

UC Davis Annual Weed Day 2016
UC Davis Annual Weed Day 2016

Jasieniuk and her team identify the origins of invasive plants, and determine how they were introduced. “We study how they were introduced, how they have spread and whether they have been introduced multiple times. Again, if we understand how they’re spreading, we can do something to try to stop the spread,” she said.

Italian rye grass, a weed Jasieniuk is currently studying, is problematic because it is resistant to Roundup, a popularly used weed and grass killer by growers. “UC ANR Cooperative Extension specialist, now emeritus, Tom Lanini, and I sampled over 100 locations of Italian rye grass and tested them for resistance to Roundup ten years ago,” she said about the project, funded by USDA. “Last year, we re-sampled all of those sites, and we’re re-testing to see if there’s been an increase or a decrease or no change in resistance to glyphosate, to Roundup,” she said.

Roundup isn’t the only weed and grass killer available on the market. “We’re looking at resistance to three other herbicides,” she said. Working with growers to determine the most efficacious weed treatments that also reduce the likelihood of wood resistance to herbicides,” Jasieniuk explained, “We interview growers about their herbicide use, non-chemical approaches, and integrated management techniques to identify management practices that correlate highly with low or no resistance,” she explained.

Resistance management is found to be more effective with a rotation of various herbicides. “What you want to do is rotate different types of herbicides with different modes of action,” Jasieniuk said. “Perhaps do tank mixes and incorporate non-chemical approaches as well,” she added.

Eliminating weeds can be as simple as disking and digging them out with a shovel when there are only a few. “I think, in many cases, this would have done a lot to prevent new weeds from coming in and certainly resistant weeds from spreading,” she noted.

AGRICULTURAL AWARDS – 2013 World Food Prize

2013 World Food Prize Winners

Three distinguished scientists — Marc Van Montagu of Belgium, and Americans, Mary-Dell Chilton, Founder and Distinguished Science Fellow, Syngenta Biotechnology, Inc.; and Robert T. Fraley, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Monsanto—share the 2013 World Food Prize for their independent, individual breakthrough achievements in founding, developing, and applying modern agricultural biotechnology.
Their research, which makes it possible for farmers to grow crops with improved yields, resistance to insects and disease, and the ability to tolerate extreme variations in climate, can play a critical role as we face the global challenges of the 21st century of producing more food, in a sustainable way, while confronting an increasingly volatile climate. The pioneering work of these three contributed to the emergence of a new term, “agricultural biotechnology.”
With particular ties to California, Dr. Robert T. Fraley, conducted post-doctoral research in biophysics at the University of California-San Francisco. Fraley led the successful introduction of genetically engineered soybeans that were resistant to the herbicide glyphosate, commercially known as Roundup. When planting these “Roundup Ready” crops, a farmer was able to spray an entire field with glyphosate—and only the weeds would be eliminated, leaving the crop plants alive and thriving.
The World Food Prize is the foremost international award recognizing— without regard to race, religion, nationality, or political beliefs—the achievements of individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world.
The Prize recognizes contributions in any field involved in the world food supply — food and agriculture science and technology, manufacturing, marketing, nutrition, economics, poverty alleviation, political leadership and the social sciences.
The World Food Prize emphasizes the importance of a nutritious and sustainable food supply for all people. By honoring those who have worked successfully toward this goal, The Prize calls attention to what has been done to improve global food security and to what can be accomplished in the future.
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Agriculturalist of the Year,
Fresno County
The Fresno County Farm Bureau announced that The Greater Fresno Area Chamber of Commerce and Baker, Peterson & Franklin, CPA announced that Supervisor   Phil Larson was selected as the 2013 Agriculturalist of the Year, an award given annually to individuals who exemplify leadership and integrity in the Central Valley’s agricultural business community.
Supervisor Larson, a lifelong farmer and Fresno County resident, has had a long and distinguished career with the Wilbur Ellis Company and retired in 2000. His list of community involvement is extensive and includes: President, Fresno County Farm Bureau; Charter member, California Agriculture Production Consultants; California Farm Bureau District 7 State Director; and Fresno City/County Chamber of Commerce.
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Baker, Peterson & Franklin Ag Business Award
The Greater Fresno Area Chamber of Commerce and Baker, Peterson & Franklin, CPA also announced Gar Tootelian, Inc., of Reedley was awarded the 2013 Baker, Peterson & Franklin Ag Business Award, an award to a for-profit service or product-related agribusiness or farming entity headquartered in the Central San Joaquin Valley whose achievements and impact have significantly contributed to the industry and the local community.
Established in 1949, Gar Tootelian, Inc. still prospers as one of California’s oldest and largest independent agricultural chemical and fertilizer retailers. Second generation and family owned, it serves over 1,400 growers from Madera to Kern County.
Gar Tootelian provides advanced, environmentally safe, bio-technology and crop services available. Crop Life magazine recognized Gar Tootelian as the largest, single location, ag retailer in the nation, and they were named in the 10 Best Companies to work for in the Central Valley by a Business Journal survey.
At the Ag Awards Luncheon on Wednesday, November 13 at Radisson Conference Center in Fresno, the Baker, Peterson & Franklin Ag Business Award and the Fresno Chamber Agriculturist of the Year Award will be presented. 
Luncheon tickets are available through the Fresno Chamber of Commerce, www.fresnochamber.com, (559) 495-4800.
Source: Fresno County Farm Bureau, CA Avocado Society
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Award of Honor, California
Avocado Commission
At its 98th annual meeting, the California Avocado Society (CAS) presented the 2013 “Award of Honor” to California Avocado Commission (CAC) Vice President of Marketing Jan DeLyser,CAS President.
“Jan DeLyser has specifically focused on the California avocado industry for the past 15 years. Her entry into the California avocado industry came at a difficult time, when foreign imports cast an ominous shadow over our livelihoods,” said CAS President Chris Ambuul. “In just 15 years, US consumption has increased five-fold, and we are still in business. Jan hasn’t just left a mark on our industry; she is a big reason why we are all still here.”
Ambuul noted that the CAS award recognizes outstanding contribution and dedication to the California avocado industry.
 
The California Avocado Society came into being on May 15, 1915 to promote efficiency of production and orderly marketing toward assuring long term profitability for the business of avocado growing.