The herbicide glyphosate can build up in the soil and plant tissues.
Glyphosate contamination is mostly a problem in clay soils with low acidity.
Symptoms of contamination are numerous, ranging from production decline to increased susceptibility to diseases.
Glyphosate is considered an indispensable weed-management tool for both fruit and grain producers. However, it has recently become associated with a number of problems in crop production.
James Dick, co-owner of DNS Crop Institute, says that in certain Grabouw orchards, he has noticed a decline in production, as well as chlorosis and retarded growth in the apical reaches of some trees. Individual trees in orchards growing in heavier soils also exhibit typical symptoms of trace element deficiency.
While the exact cause of these problems is complex and uncertain, Dick suspects that glyphosate might be a major contributing factor.
“Glyphosate was originally developed by Stauffer Chemical in the 1960s as a chelating agent, which means it can bond to metal elements such as iron, manganese, zinc, calcium, nickel and copper. Monsanto then patented it as a herbicide in 1974,” says Dick.
Glyphosate kills plants by blocking a critical enzyme pathway known as the shikimic acid pathway. The enzyme is essential for plant respiration, so a plant that receives a full dose of glyphosate cannot survive unless it is engineered or evolves to be resistant. Glyphosate also weakens a plant’s defences against infectious organisms.
TRIALS AND ANALYSIS
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
Queen of the veld
Two well-known cattle breeders from Limpopo advised other farmers not to overlook the Nguni, as this article revealed.
A new answer to SA's high demand for red cattle
The demand for red cattle has always been high in South Africa. To enter this market and offer breeders an alternative to the traditional options, the Du Plessis family, who owns the Brandwater farming business, managed to establish one of the country’s most successful Droughtmaster studs. Chris du Plessis spoke to Denene Erasmus.
Beet cyst eelworm
While the nematodes themselves may not be visible in the early days of infestation, the crop will show signs of patchy growth and water stress, says Bill Kerr. Keep a sharp lookout if the pest occurs in the area.
Improving honeybee forage management
Certain areas in South Africa face a shortfall of honeybees for the pollination of crops, particularly fruit. According to Tlou Masehela, a scientist at the South African National Biodiversity Institute, there is an urgent need to increase forage resources in order to boost honeybee farming in the country.
Tips for dipping sheep
Sheep need to be dipped to prevent the spread of lice, scab and other economically important ectoparasites.
Young papaya plants are ready to be planted out in the open when they are about 200mm tall, measured from the base of the stem to the growing point. It is important that they be planted upright.
SA Veterinary Council committed to change
According to Dr Alfred Tlolo Kgasi, president of the South African Veterinary Council, the transformation of the veterinary profession is a priority. Annelie Coleman reports.
Pasture varieties and their potential in SA
Summer-planted pastures can boost a farmer’s profits by keeping animal production high. Renowned grazing specialist Prof Chris Dannhauser says there is a variety of these crops to choose from and, as Susan Marais found out, many can also be used in winter in the form of hay, foggage and silage.
Cutting-edge crop-spraying drones for Africa
Unitrans Africa has recently purchased seven Chinese-made DJI T30 Agras drones, which the company will use to provide crops praying services to farmers in a number of African countries.
Robot boosts blueberry picking efficiencies
Agritech company Arci technologies is in the process of developing South Africa’s first semi-autonomous agricultural robot. three of the company’s founders spoke to Glenneis Kriel about their machine.
THE MANY SAINTS OF NEWARK
Michael Gandolfini, Alessandro Nivola, Vera Farmiga, Jon Bernthal Fri., Oct. 1, on HBO Max R
MY CAREER IN FIVE SONGS
Hammond B-3s and cowbells! Mark Farner reveals the genesis of classic tracks from Grand Funk Railroad.
The Many Saints of Newark turns back the clock to show how Tony Soprano came of age
Tales of the Crochet Widower
I learned to crochet in 2001, relatively late in life, after 40 years of sewing. My husband, then a New York City sanitation worker, brought home a box of hooks that he rescued from life in a landfill. He gave me the box and said, “Can you do something with these?”
Animal House - Ins and outs of dog doors
Entries right-sized for pets are easy for them to use—and convenient for their humans, too. Here’s how to install one that’s safe and secure
FBI – Two of a Kind
Playing agents on FBI is serious business. But when Missy Peregrym and Zeeko Zaki get together to talk about their roles, the conversation is a lot more fun than fierce.
SOME THOUGHTS ON ORDER—IN POETRY, IN LIFE
This Florida Drug Smuggler Escaped 7 Life Sentences—Twice
Dickie Lynn’s story shows how the drug war warped the Criminal Justice System.
DICK ALLEN, a third baseman and first baseman who played in the major leagues for 15 years from 19631977 with the Phillies, Cardinals, Dodgers, White Sox, and Athletics and won the National League Rookie of the Year in 1964 and the American League MVP in 1972, died Dec. 7. He was 78.
Allman Betts Band
The proud inheritors of the Allman Brothers’ Gregg Allman, Dickey Betts and Berry Oakley prove to be more than chips off the old block