Cheaper glyphosate saves you money
Even when you add in the cost of the surfactants into the price of generics, it can save you money.
But by the time you add in the cost of the anti-foam agents you may not save money. And if you have a product enquiry or product failure the cheaper glyphosate will not be as cheap as it first appears.
The problem with cheaper herbicides is that growers tend to use them with less discrimination. We saw this with cheap 2, 4-D and whole scale spraying that lead to wild carrot resistance back before I entered agriculture. In the 70’s we had cheap atrazine. You could buy it at the gas station. I remember when Shell was selling it. I also remember the poor quality and lack of support when things went wrong.
Chinese manufacturers now annually produce about 150 per cent of the world’s glyphosate needs and are dumping it at below their cost of production into North America. This will no doubt lead to widespread indiscriminate use. What will come next? I have been down this road so am fairly comfortable with my prediction. We will see an increase in the number of acres and species that are resistant to glyphosate.
What can you do?
Do not depend fully on glyphosate for your weed control. Also use herbicides with other modes of action. Scout your fields or have some one scout them for you. Always be suspect of resistance on your farm. If you ever have one weed species left after a spray application consider resistance. Don’t wait until harvest or next year to see if the same thing happens. Control that suspect resistant weed this year with another herbicide. BF