The government has, so far, been unwilling to bust up Monsanto’s stranglehold on the seed market, but it appears Mother Nature just may be able to do the job.
The Wall Street Journal writes, “Hardy superweeds immune to the Farm Belt’s most effective weedkiller are invading fields, prompting a counterattack from agribusiness that could leave farmers using greater amounts of harsh old-line herbicides.” (Here, but subscription required.)
Monsanto had a near monopoly on herbicide resistant seeds with its Roundup Ready products. The nation’s largest business newspaper writes that as weeds develop resistance to Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, “chemical companies are dusting off the potent herbicides of old for an attack on the new superweeds.” And they are engineering seeds to be resistant to these weedkillers, just as Monsanto did with Roundup.
One analyst said this “will be a very significant opportunity” for chemical companies.
In other news, pretty soon, you can go to college at Wal-Mart.
The retailer announced that it was offering its 1.4 million U.S. employees financial assistance to take college courses online. The company will pay employees 15% of their tuition costs and will invest $50 million over three years to provide workers with tuition an other assistance. Wal-Mart says that 70% of its managers started as hourly employees. Wal-Mart has picked American Public University to supply the courses online.