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Crop Biotech Update

Asian Farmers would Face Increase in Weed Control Costs on Glyphosate Use Restrictions

March 27, 2019

A new study reports that farmers in seven countries in Asia are facing higher weed control costs, less effective weed control, more difficult access to fields and lower yields, if they could no longer use glyphosate. The study estimates that annual weed control costs would increase across the seven countries by between US$1.4 billion and US$1.9 billion, with average increases in cost ranging from US$22/ha to US$30/ha.

The study results are summarized in a peer-reviewed paper by Graham Brookes of PG Economics Ltd., and examined the current use of glyphosate, the reasons for its use, and the changes that farmers would make to their weed control programs if they cannot use glyphosate anymore. Seven countries included in the study are Australia, China, India, Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Thailand, where glyphosate use in agriculture is significant, countries that may be considering use restrictions for glyphosate and countries where farmers are planting glyphosate tolerant biotech crops.

The economic and environmental benefits of planting glyphosate tolerant biotech corn and cotton in Australia, Philippines, and Vietnam will also be lost. Without glyphosate, farmers will be less able to realize the environmental benefits of no and reduced tillage such as a lower levels of carbon emissions, less soil erosion, and greater soil moisture content.

For more details, read the news release from PG Economics.