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.

The acceptance of palm oil worldwide is due to its unique properties that encourage its use in a wide range of end products. In the food industry, palm oil is used as a cooking oil and shortening and in the manufacture of margarine, non-dairy creamers and ice cream. Palm oil produced from the oil palm tree is a main source of income for many farmers in South East Asia, Central and West Africa, and Central America.

In perennial crops like oil palm weeds grow constantly, prompted by the weather and changing seasons. Frequently, outbreaks of weeds occur after a long dry season. This is thus a period when weeding and application of herbicides are carried out more extensively. However, overreliance on Glyphosate has caused serious weed resistance problems in recent years.

The use of Glufosinate-ammonium as an alternative to Glyphosate helps avoid problems of weed resistance in oil palm. Glufosinate-ammonium is a highly effective tool for controlling a broad spectrum of weeds in oil palm and has thus enabled a significant increase in yields over the last three decades. Also, the herbicide can be used to manage weeds in plantations not only to reduce competition to the oil palms, but also to minimize soil erosion and maintain habitats.

Oil palm tree
Oil palm tree

Did you know?

Palm oil has now overtaken soybean oil to be the world’s leading vegetable oil. It yields up to 10 times more oil per hectare than rapeseed, soybeans or sunflowers.1
  • A research study on oil palm in Ghana found a very high diversity of weed species - 136 weed species were present in a 50-hectare oil palm plantation.2
1 | The Economist, The other oil spill, June 2010, http://www.economist.com/node/16423833
2 | Essandoh, P K et al. (2011). Floristic composition and abundance of weeds in an oil palm plantation in Ghana. ARPN Journal of Agricultural and Biological Science. 6:1. http://www.arpnjournals.com/jabs/research_papers/rp_2011/jabs_0111_229.pdf
Talking Weed Issues Across Continents

Richard Hinchliffe, and English farmer, and Santiago del Solar Dorrego, an Argentinian counterpart, discuss weed resistance with an Argentinian agricultural engineer, Fernando Garcia Frugoni. Even though Argentina and Europe have different agricultural practices, the challenge of weed resistance is common. Both regions discovered that today farmers have to think well in advance about what they are doing and make decisions about crops and rotations for years to come. In both regions, dealing with the problem is all about a "combined integrated approach with herbicides the last part of the puzzle". Cultural methods have to be integrated first before reaching for chemistry as the final piece.

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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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