Benefits for the crop

As a broad-spectrum herbicide highly effective against a variety of weeds, Glufosinate-ammonium has enabled the healthy production of more than 100 crops, including fruits and nuts, canola, soybean and cotton. This has fostered the availability of more high quality and affordable food as well as various products. Farmers also rely on GA when treating young trees as it is a contact herbicide and so can control weeds surrounding trees without harming the tree itself.

Additionally, crops such as canola, corn, cotton and soybeans with the LibertyLink trait are tolerant to Glufosinate-ammonium. Growers are therefore able to apply this herbicide in-crop for non-selective post-emergence weed control, right up to ten weeks prior to harvest, before these weeds jeopardize yield potential.

Bananas are a major export crop, helping to fuel the economies of many African, Caribbean, and Pacific countries. As a rich source of fiber, carbohydrate, potassium and vitamins, including A, C, and B6, they are an integral part of our diet. After rice, wheat and corn, bananas rank fourth in terms of financial value amongst the world’s main food crops in 2013.1

Most banana production takes place in tropical and sub-tropical regions of the globe, where environmental conditions promote the rapid and persistent growth of vegetation. To protect fields, each year growers spend a considerable amount of management effort and financial resources to manage weeds. The relief of weed pressure is key to maintaining healthy and high-yielding banana crops.

Glufosinate-ammonium is a highly effective tool for controlling a broad spectrum of weeds in bananas and has thus enabled a significant increase in yields over the last three decades. The herbicide is applied around the banana plants and even if small amounts land on crop leaves there is minimal to no damage. The use of Glufosinate-ammonium as an alternative to commonly-used Glyphosate helps to avoid problems of weed resistance in bananas.

Banana plantation
Banana plantation

Did you know?

  • The EU is the largest consumer and importer of bananas in the world, followed by the US. In 2008, it consumed 5,416,449 tonnes most of them imported from third countries.2
More than 95% of bananas are grown on small farms in developing countries and are a staple food for more than 400 million people living in tropical region.
1 | Bob Holmes, "Go Bananas", New Scientist, Volume 218, Nr. 2913, 20 April 2013, pp. 39-41.
2 | Source: European Commission, Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development, "Bananas other than plantains", May 2010, http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/bananas/fact-sheet_en.pdf
What inspires plant scientists and why is their job so important? Harry Strek explains

In an interview for Crop Life International #FOODHEROES series, Harry Strek, Scientific Director for Weed Resistance at the Bayer Weed Resistance Competence Center (WRCC) in Frankfurt, tells that he became interested in working with plants and weed resistance in particular when he was working in a farm as a child and had to remove weeds manually from edible crops. Weeds can be damaging to the crop if not managed correctly, even if they are not resistant. Resistant weeds complicate the situation by decreasing options. Only by using all available tools together in an integrated program, including chemical and non-chemical ones can effectively manage weeds. Bayer is working on demonstrating that integrated weed management programs are essential to the long-term viability of modern weed control tools and that although they require initial investment in capital and changes to current programs, they will pay for themselves in the long run.

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Learn about LibertyLink Crops

Is Glufosinate-ammonium present in our food?

Any traces of Glufosinate-ammonium that may remain on crops and that are ingested directly by humans or indirectly as a result of consuming meat and milk from animals that have fed on such crops are limited at stricter levels than defined toxicological safety thresholds.

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