Glyphosate-resistant waterhemp crowding growing corn plants in an Ontario field. (Submitted by Peter Sikkema, U Guelph via CBC)

‘Super-weeds’- a new and growing problem for farming


You’ve heard of antibiotic resistant “super-bugs”, now we have herbicide resistant “super-weeds”

We have long been hearing about the very serious concern of anti-biotic resistant bacteria, but farmers around the world are facing a similar type of problem.

Weeds are becoming resistant to herbicides and the problem is getting worse.

Green areas show the “super weed” kochia taking over an Alberta field (Charles Geddes PhD Agriculture Canada)

In fact, Canada is now third in the world for herbicide resistant weeds, after the U.S, and Australia.

Just as bacteria evolve to combat the antibiotics used against them, weeds too have evolved to withstand the herbicides. In fact some types of weeds like kochia, have been found to have developed multi-herbicide resistance, a so-called “super-weed”.

Kochia is an aggressive weed that can produce thousands of seeds. Invading a crop it can seriously reduce yields, even damage the whole crop and its super-resistant qualities are spreading ( via Radio-Canada)

Quoted in the Alberta Farmer, federal research scientist Charles Geddes said, “There have been difficult herbicide-resistant weeds in the past, but we’re seeing the number grow now. The problem is only getting worse”.

The constant and wide use of Monsanto’s glyphosate product has led to resistance of that type of herbicide, but now weeds are becoming multi resistant to other types of herbicides as well (Jeff Roberson/Associated Press)

There are currently about 75 types of weeds that have become resistant across Canada, but especially in the farming regions of Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta.

The development of superweeds is in part due to genetically modified crops which are treated with glyphosate (Roundup). Continual use of a single type of herbicide has led to weeds developing resistance.

Excess weed growth results in crop yield loss, and adding more chemicals to fight weeds is expensive, if they work at all. Yield loss and added treatments both add significantly to farm operation costs, As agriculture research scientist Charles Geddes says, “It’s very serious”.

Additional information – sources

Categories: Economy, Environment, International, Internet, Science and Technology
Tags: , , , , ,

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.

Netiquette »

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1.’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3.’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.