Round up

Nils Hasenbein via pbs
Fri, 26 Mar 2021 03:11:13 PDT
Am 26.03.2021 um 05:14 schrieb Robert Lauf via pbs:

> Despite considering myself a master of the surgical strike

I can't tell whether the debate about Glyphosate is as intense in your 
countries as it is in Germany/the EU (As this subject quickly gets 
emotional at least here in Germany: This is not a comment on individual 
practices, which I am sure suit your own needs in the best way 
possible). Glyphosate has a bad reputation in Germany now, following the 
many hints that it may, in the long term and as a mass application, have 
severe impact on insect populations, likely larvae development and 
insect behaviour. The alleged (and in an increasing number of effects, 
proven) sideeffects of Glyphosate are hard to unravel, as we are near to 
blind to long-term effects (because no one funds research projects that 
long, and no substance would ever be on the market if we had to monitor 
its effects for twenty years first), and are likely dealing with the 
long-term effects of very small amounts of remnant original substance 
and its break-down substances on very complex systems (which is even 
more expensive to study). This also is, on this scale, something new, so 
naturally, research and regulations are lagging behind application.

Having some friends working with Bayer somewhere along the long chain of 
the admission process for new substances (its bittersweet that the 
increasing problems provide quite a few jobs for my fellow 
ecologists...), and after hearing some talks about it, my personal 
conclusion is that the main environmental problem with Glyphosate is a 
problem of application. The amount of Glyphosate needed to kill a plant 
is rather small, if it is applied at the meristeme/"growth tip". In 
bulbs, it seems very sensible that in order to "shoot to kill" a small 
amount all the way down through a hollow leaf would be enough, but 
depending on depth and width I assume it would work best if you apply it 
as deep as posible, e.g. with a syringe, which is a lot of work. For 
invasive bulbs, I have seen every Bluebell I had to dig as an 
opportunity to insert a bulb I like.  Now if bindweed had hollow stems, 
I would go to any length.

There have been funny concepts for single-drop application which would 
reduce usage and environmental impact dramatically, but only work on a 
"lab scale" so far. Maybe in the future automatic lawnmowers are armed 
to apply single droplets when their downward camera detects a plant it 
has been told to kill ... RoundUp was so (relatively) cheap and 
effective, that some people spray it like water - our direct neighbour 
used to soak the whole driveway in spring, though there is next to 
nothing growing there anyway. This kind of usage by a few in the long 
term makes things worse for everyone, including those using it 
responsibly. It's tiring to see that those who disregard the regulations 
for application in the first place are the among the first to complain 
when the substances they abused are strongly regulated or taken off the 
market. If, here in Germany, the concoctions of Glyphosate would be used 
according to instructions, both in gardens as well in agriculture, 
problems would be less severe. .

To conclude, thank you for the useful hints for application in general 
and on specific plants that have been given on the list, and I would be 
happy if you share your experiences wile refining your methods for 
"surgical strikes". Usage in gardens is not what caused the major 
environmental problems, but as gardens now play a large role in 
preserving insect species, herbicides should be applied with precision, 
as little as possible, and with maximum efficiency.



On a nice sunny morning in Germany

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