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Sunday, November 16, 2014

Lies that we want to believe and the useless internet which doesn't really give you answers

The latest paranoia that has going around FaceBook is the "revelations" by farmer Keith Lewis that farmers drench their fields with "Roundup" to make the wheat get ready faster and more evenly.

In my part of Oregon we grow soft white wheat which goes for pastry and to Japan for noodles and we are very sensitive about GMO or anything that would upset Japan and cause them to stop buying wheat.
I will state absolutely that I have NEVER heard of anyone in my area using glyphosate to make their wheat get ready sooner and more evenly. I did a search for this practice on Google and found some discussion on using Glyphosate for this purpose in areas where wheat is swathed instead of combining standing.
I really don't see the point in doing it as most places in the USA have a long enough growing season that there really is not a problem with wheat ripening evenly.

I quote,"It appears that standard, recommended wheat harvest protocol in the United States is to drench the wheat fields with Roundup several days before the combine harvesters work through the fields as withered, dead wheat plants are less taxing on the farm equipment and allow for an earlier and easier harvest." This takes you to the Greenacres blog which has the story. It will also show up on your facebook page from the usually sources.

In another post I found an amusing comment from Mr. Lewis decrying the future use of "Roundup-Ready" wheat and, oh the horror's, more use of Roundup. This is funny because if the wheat was resistant to Round-up then the only reason to spray it on before harvest would just be to poison people. Which is exactly what us evil Monstanto-loving farmers like to do...

However, I could be wrong. Perhaps someone would comment?  In can see it as perhaps a regional practice, but I never thought it would be used on a regular basis in major wheat growing regions.

I will add that if it is a standard practice than by all means keep doing it! Then I will break down and buy those ten bags of Fife Wheat they my neighbor wants a lot of money for, and I'll start growing hard red wheat myself!

And, who is Keith Lewis, is he really a farmer? Who seeds these stories and how do you make money off them...

I've got my own, I know a certain farmer who pooped in a truck load of pumkins. Keep that in mind when you have pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving!  Oh well, at least it wasn't Round-up...

UPDATE: Ralph pointed me to NewAgTalk and sure enough, it has been discussed there. Yes the clever farmers are using Round-up on their wheat so they don't have to swath it to get it to dry down for harvest. It is not an issue of if Glyposate is bad for you are not, it is an issue of whether people think it is. However, it does open up business opportunities...


  1. That subject of "dessication" of wheat or pre harvest burn off as it is known here, came up on new agtalk forum. It is becoming a common practice here by my more modern and efficient neighbours. They tell me it works excellent. Evens out the ripening of the crop and controls any pesky perennial weeds that are lurking . I'm not sure I'm comfortable with glyphosate on the wheat a few days before it is harvested and ground into flour but I guess I am just being too fussy.

    1. Well, I'm a bit behind the times. The modern and more efficient farmers are certainly a bunch of clever folks. I love to follow them with their wide equipment on the highway at night. We do need to feed the world you know...

  2. I read that Green acres blog post . I'm pretty much speechless. And that "Wheatbelly" book.. good grief. I really need to stop reading these articles. The comments by readers there were just filled with misconceptions and plain crazy thinking. There is no GMO wheat, end of story.

    1. Well, we certainly play into their conspiracy theories. Caught in between two groups I dislike.

  3. I don't like GMO's OR Round-Up, but such lies serve no good purpose to anyone, even the teller in the long run.


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