Sustainability

Given the global scale of agriculture as our primary food source, its environmental footprint is greater than that of other industries. The challenge for farmers worldwide today is to balance these factors to achieve sustainable growth. Glufosinate-ammonium plays a crucial role in helping protect crops and yields, and its 30-year track record of safe use when applied according to label instructions demonstrates that it is possible to achieve a balance between the needs of the environment, economy and society.

Glufosinate-ammonium: an important part of modern agriculture

Sustainability is a balance between the needs of the environment, economy and society.

The herbicide offers highly effective weed control against a broad variety of weeds, reducing manpower, tractor use and ground disturbance. This makes it more resource-efficient in terms of energy consumption due to reduced use of machinery, giving it a low carbon footprint. Additionally, the herbicide is not significantly active in soil and is rapidly degraded by micro-organisms.

Glufosinate-ammonium ensures greater and higher quality yields for numerous crops such as fruits and vegetables, corn and soybeans, the most important food sources according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

The herbicide provides farmers with a critical tool for controlling weeds, ensuring more efficient and less labor intensive production. For many growers of vines and orchards for example, Glufosinate-ammonium is the only tool to fight weeds after the crops flower, making the herbicide vital for sustaining the farm.

Did you know?

Global population will rise to 9.1 billion people by 2050. Farmers will have to produce 70% more food during the same period, on the same amount of land.
  • There are thousands of weed species that pose a danger to harvests. If left untreated, weeds can cause an average global yield loss of up to 34%.1
  • Every 1% of lost production in the Spanish strawberry and citrus sector caused by a restriction of Glufosinate-ammonium would result in losses of more than €100 million.
1 | Oerke, E. (2006). Crop losses to pests, Journal of Agricultural Science 144(1): 31–43.
The sun rises on crop diversity

Maize (corn) monocultures are a common sight on Hungary’s Northern Great Plain. But as with any monoculture herbicide resistance is always a potential danger. In 2010 Istvan Szolomajer discovered Panicum riparium growing on his fields. Initially, Istvan and his fellow farmers used ALS inhibitors to control this weed, but after several years of application, there was strong evidence of an emerging resistance problem. Istvan’s solution to the resistance problem was to replace maize monoculture with crop diversity – changing from monocot to dicot crops and from spring to winter crops, for example. This year, he has been growing sunflowers on 100 ha, winter wheat on 50 ha, and maize on most of the remaining 200 ha under cultivation. This crop diversity has brought Istvan welcome relief from resistant Panicum riparium. Close cooperation with Bayer staff in Hungary has been a crucial factor in Istvan’s diversity strategy.

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How safe is Glufosinate-ammonium to the environment?

The herbicide is rapidly degraded by micro-organisms in the soil, making water contamination very unlikely. Risk to birds, bees, aquatic organisms, earthworms and other soil organisms is also very unlikely if the product is used according to label instructions.

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