- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 14, 2005

PARLIER, Calif. (AP) — Horseweed was once merely a nuisance to farmers — hard to pull out, quick to sprout back after cutting and capable of towering over tractors.

Now it’s becoming a full-blown nightmare worthy of an agricultural horror flick. University of California researchers have found clusters of the weed that are resistant to scores of herbicides, leaving farmers to fight a formidable and costly foe.

For decades, growers looking for an easy way to beat back weeds have relied on the chemical glyphosate. It’s inexpensive, works on several types of weeds and is less toxic than other herbicides.

Farmers planting crops that have been genetically engineered to survive the chemical could spray it liberally over their entire field, killing all the weeds and leaving only their crops standing. However, glyphosate-resistant horseweed was found in Delaware in 2000, and has since been discovered in 10 other states.

“They’ve created a problem by relying on one solution to solve all problems,” said weed ecologist Anil Shrestha of UC’s Kearney Agricultural Center.

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