3 years ago



Figure 23. Decline in

Figure 23. Decline in Acreage Enrolled in Conservation Reserve Program: 2007-2014. Source: USDA FAS CRP (2014). Midwest here defined as the 12 states of the Corn Belt (IA, IL, IN, MO, OH), the Lake States (MI, MN, WI) and the Northern Plains (KS, NE, ND, SD). New Herbicide-Resistant Crops Promise Further Habitat Degradation Monarch habitat is further threatened by the imminent introduction of new herbicide-resistant crops that are genetically engineered to be resistant to multiple herbicides. These new crops pose two distinct risks: (1) continued elimination of common milkweed from cropland, and (2) reduction via herbicide drift of flowering plants that provide monarch adults with nectar. The widespread use of glyphosate with Roundup Ready crops has spawned an epidemic of glyphosate-resistant weeds (Benbrook 2009). In the United States, 135 populations of 14 different weed species in 36 states have evolved resistance to glyphosate (International Survey of Herbicide Resistant Weeds 2014), and they infest an estimated 50-62 million acres of U.S. cropland (Benbrook 2012, Fraser 2012), an area the size of Wyoming. A recent survey found that the problem is expanding, with 49 percent of farmers reporting glyphosate-resistant weeds in 2012, up from 34 percent in 2011 (Fraser 2012). Monarch ESA Petition 58

In response, all of the major agricultural biotechnology companies have developed “nextgeneration” crops resistant to other herbicides that will still kill glyphosate-resistant weeds, at least for a time (Kilman 2010, Table 1). The most popular are expected to be corn, soybeans and cotton engineered by Dow AgroSciences for resistance to 2,4-D-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D), and the Monsanto Company’s dicamba-resistant soybeans and cotton, which collectively will likely supplant a substantial portion of Roundup Ready crop acreage (Mortensen et al 2012). Genetically engineered 2,4-D-resistant corn and soybeans were recently approved by USDA, which also gave preliminary approval to the genetically engineered dicamba-resistant crops (Table 1, see: Commercial introduction is expected in the next two years. GE Herbicide-Resistant Crops Approved or Pending Approval by USDA Petition No. Company Crop Herbicides Status 13-262-01p Dow Cotton 2,4-D, glufosinate, glyphosate 12-251-01p Syngenta Soybeans HPPD inhibitors, glufosinate, glyphosate 12-185-01p Monsanto Cotton Dicamba, glufosinate, glyphosate 11-234-01p Dow Soybean 2,4-D, glufosinate, glyphosate Pending approval Approved 2014 Pending approval Approved 2014 10-188-01p Monsanto Soybean Dicamba, glyphosate Preliminary approval 09-349-01p Dow Soybean 2,4-D, glufosinate, glyphosate Approved 2014 09-328-01p Bayer Soybean Isoxaflutole, glyphosate Approved 2013 09-233-01p Dow Corn 2,4-D, ACCase inhibitors, glyphosate Approved 2014 09-015-01p BASF Soybean Imidazolinones Approved 2014 07-152-01p DuPont Pioneer Corn Imidazolinones, glyphosate Approved 2009 Table 1. Partial list of genetically engineered, herbicide-resistant crops recently approved or pending approval by USDA. Source: USDA’s Petitions for Determination of Nonregulated Status,, accessed August 6, 2014. Where glyphosate is bolded and italicized, the company has not genetically engineered glyphosate resistance into the GE crop for its review by USDA, but has announced plans to breed a glyphosate resistance trait into commercial cultivars to be sold to farmers. Monarch ESA Petition 59

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