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"Okay, the other one that's probably the best success story would be the Roundup Ready crops. And, you know, Roundup as a weed control herbicide has been used for decades, but it could never have been used over the top of crops because it would have killed the crops. So, when I was a teenager walking soybean fields was something city people could do to make some money at the end of the summer. That's because there were a lot of weeds that the farmer couldn't get with his cultivation treatments and those weeds would get big and interfere with soybean productivity. So, you could walk fields and take them out. Well, once Roundup resistant soybeans had been developed, that moneymaking enterprise for high school kids went away. The farmer could apply this herbicide even when the crop plant was up and growing and kill any weeds that were emerging and eliminate a lot of the problems from late-season yield reduction. And eliminate their need to do tillage. As a consequence, minimum tillage farming in states like Nebraska has increased. There's a lot of benefits to the farmer and to our environment when we don't do as many tillage operations in a field."
     [Question:] "What are some of those benefits?"
     "Well, erosion is one of the big ones. If you can avoid certain cultivations, plowing, and have more organic material, plant material, on the surface of your crop field when there's a heavy spring rain, you avoid a lot of runoff into our streams. Farmers, now, spend a lot of money, just like we do, on fuel, on gasoline for their vehicles. And so, it reduces the number times they have to drive across their fields in order to get their farming operations done."
     [Question:] "Which also reduces greenhouse gases."
     "That reduces greenhouse gases. Yep. So, Roundup has really lent itself to some of the operations that farmers do that have an economic benefit."

Don Lee – Roundup Ready & Conservation

   

Excerpts from Don Lee’s Interview:

The Bust of the 80s
Government Subsidies
An End to Subsidies?
The Internet for Ag
Immigration in Rural Am.
History of Hybrids
Preserving Genetics
Climate Change
Politics of Ethanol
Alternatives to Corn
Genetic Engineering
Bt & Roundup Ready
Patenting Genes