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.

Cotton is used mainly for its fiber which is pivotal for the textile industry globally. Cottonseed is crushed to produce oil for food uses and cottonseed cake for animal feed. The main exporter of cotton is the USA, which accounts for almost 30% of total global exports, followed by India, Australia, Brazil, Uzbekistan and other countries.

Cotton is a shrub native to tropical and subtropical regions of the world, including the Americas, Africa, and India where environmental conditions promote the rapid and persistent growth of vegetation. Therefore, growers need to make a special effort to destroy perennial grasses, nightshades, field bindweed, and other competitive weeds in these areas. Glufosinate-ammonium is an extremely versatile tool in the cotton farmer’s battle against weeds.

The use of broad spectrum herbicides and in conjunction with corn varieties – bred using genetic modification to be herbicide-tolerant (HT) – offer the most effective means of weed control. The only broad spectrum herbicides that can be used with HT cotton crops today are Glufosinate-ammonium and Glyphosate. Until recently, only Glyphosate-tolerant cotton was available. Insufficient rotation of the herbicidal modes of action in the past has resulted in many weeds in vital cotton growing regions no longer responding to Glyphosate treatment. As such, farmers are increasingly aware of the need to rotate their use of Glyphosate with Glufosinate-ammonium to mitigate weed resistance.

Cotton field

Cotton field

Did you know?

  • Cotton is grown in more than 100 countries, and over 150 countries are involved in its export or import. Cotton trade accounts for 40% of its world output.1
  • Yield today has increased by more than 50% since the 1960s. Before, farmers could produce 306 kg of cotton per hectare, while today they harvest 759 kg per hectare. 


1 | International Trade Centre, The importance of cotton in world trade, August 2013,
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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