The National Wheat Foundation is doing a series of blogs, titled "The Truth About Glyphosate", sharing the facts about glyphosate and its use in wheat.
This week the first part of the series was posted on The Word on Wheat blog. While there are many false claims about glyphosate and its safety, the truth is regulatory and scientific authorities worldwide have concluded that glyphosate, when used according to label directions, does not pose an unreasonable risk to human health, the environment, or non-target animals and plants.
The herbicide has a 40-year history of managing weeds for farmers in many crops around the world.
So, what is glyphosate?
Glyphosate is the active ingredient in many "non-selective" herbicide formulations used to control weeds. What does "non-selective" mean?
A non-selective herbicide controls most plants while a selective herbicide is designed to control specific types of plants. Non-selective herbicides are used to control weeds before crop planting.
In the wheat industry, for example, it means that if a grower were to apply glyphosate to growing wheat, the wheat plant will die; therefore, most wheat acres do not receive a glyphosate application during the growing season since growers do everything they can to keep the plant alive and healthy.
Broadly speaking, glyphosate use is limited in the wheat industry, if even used at all in some wheat fields. In fact, it is applied to less than 30 percent of wheat acres in the U.S., according to an independent consumer research firm, GfK.
While farmers of other crops may use glyphosate more in their operations, the application rate and use of glyphosate in wheat is dependent on other production methods, such as no-till and minimum till planting systems.