Saturday, 5 October 2013

Silage a-la-Roundup

Kiwi farmers are not well served by their chemical suppliers. Here's an example.

NufarmPGG and probably others are pushing a new use for Roundup. It goes like this.
  1. Grow a really nice paddock of lush grass, far too much for your stock to eat immediately, with the aim of fermenting it into silage for feeding out later. But instead of just cutting, chopping & storing as usual, you use this new system
  2. Spray it with Roundup or equivalent
  3. Wait for your crop to die
  4. Cut, chop, store as normal for silage/baleage
  5. Feed to your animals
I am not making this up. They really do advise farmers to do this. Look, here's the sales pitch (pdf).

Would you knowingly drink milk from cows that eat this food?

Update 11 October 2013
Nufarm have advised by email  that

  • Every year in NZ over 200,000 ha of pasture is treated with glyphosate and then either grazed by animals within 3-7 days or cut for silage and fed to animals at a later date.
  • There is no withholding period. The label recommends not feeding for 3-7 days but you can if you want.
  • A number of animal feeding studies have been done around the world regarding this use for glyphosate. None show any safety issues but none have been published. Trust us on this. 
  • Confidential data was provided to EPA and ACVM (the regulatory bodies in NZ) to get approval for no stock with-holding period.
So there you have it. Its a very widespread practice and they think its perfectly safe.


  1. Glycosphate is commonly applied as desiccant pre-harvest for all kinds of cereals. Look up Roundup pre-harvest in Google. Can't much see how pre-harvest on sileage is worse than pre-harvest on wheat. Best we can tell glycosphate has no effect on people unless you drink it directly trying to poison yourself.

    Might as well warn everybody about bread made with Roundup Pre-harvest wheat, vegetarian stuff made with Roundup Pre-harvest soybeans, and so on.

  2. Yes well, lots of people believe that glyphosate is perfectly safe, and that probably includes decision makers at the EPA and the AVCM, but the guy who ran all the field trials for Monsanto, and advised the US military on chemical weapons, strongly disagrees. Have a read of this.