Roundup® in Organic Crops

WE NEVER spray any crop on our farm with glyphosate, the key ingredient of Roundup®. It’s strictly forbidden by organic rules. And I watch and report any time I observe evidence of drift on our organic fields. But I would be a blind idealist if I guaranteed you that all our crops were always perfectly clean.

I think it’s appalling that glyphosate was ever approved by the EPA to be used in conventional small grain (oats and wheat) fields as a desiccant or harvest aid. This refers the practice of spraying glyphosate directly on seed heads in the fields just prior to harvest, thus guaranteeing that the weeds are dead and the entire crop is ready to harvest. I’m glad there has been an uproar against this practice. While it’s still legal, hopefully consumer pressure will put a practical end to it. However, all the testing has exposed a little known fact in the organic world as well. There is so much glyphosate used in the world today that it’s in everything, including rainwater and air. I farm on flat open praire, with nothing to stop the wind for miles and lots of conventional neighboring farms nearby. Even if I could watch 24/7 all the spraying that occurs (which I can’t), I can’t keep the rain off my fields. And the glyphosate detection levels are getting better every year and are now easily down to parts per billion (ppb). For reference, 1 ppb is equal to 1 drop of water in a semi tanker, or equivalent to 1 second in almost 32 years. While I’m sure my crops will have MUCH less glyphosate than most conventional grains (and probably be below detection levels), I can’t guarantee it will always test perfectly clean. Especially as detection methods impove and are able to find lower concentrations. It’s a constant fight to provide you with a chemical free product. And while I’ll do the best I can, hopefully you can appreciate the reality of the world we live in.