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#34275 - 05/09/10 11:36 PM Rise of the Superweed
Mike Kremer Offline

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Registered: 10/16/04
Posts: 1696
Loc: London UK

We knew it might happen sometime, and now it has..
"The Rise of the Superweed"
Remember 'Roundup' the Glyphosphate chemical developed by Monsanto. Roundup killed all the weeds on farmers fields, allowing him to produce more crops per acre, year after year.
Roundup eliminated all weeds, greatly reduced plowing, and therefore labour, and also wind erosion.

Just as the heavy use of antibiotics contributed to the rise of drug-resistant supergerms in humans, American farmers’ near-ubiquitous use of the weedkiller Roundup has now led to the rapid growth of these tenacious new Superweeds.
Superweeds are springing up---- not as many as clogged fields over 20 years ago....not yet.
But these Superweeds cannot be killed with standard weedkillers. And they are on the increase, can only be killed by spraying the field with a very toxic new modern weedkillers.
Higher food prices, lower crop yields, extra weeding and ploughing will add to food prices, as well as the pollution of land and water.
With the rise of the Superweed crops might soon have to be checked not only for toxicity, but also washed before processing for food.
Below is one farmers story. He is not the first farmer to suffer, nor will he be the last.
Nature is girding its loins, and I fear is about to hit back with a vengence.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/04/business/energy-environment/04weed.html?src=me&ref=homepage
_________________________
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"You will never find a real Human being - Even in a mirror." ....Mike Kremer.



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#34279 - 05/10/10 01:13 AM Re: Rise of the Superweed [Re: Mike Kremer]
paul Offline
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Registered: 03/21/06
Posts: 4136
Mike
Isnt that the way monsanto works ?
they design products that eliminate their competition so
they have complete control.

then they design new more powerfull products that will kill
what they designed earlier.

this way no chemical company can out perform them.

they create a situation so that they can provide the remedy.

Isnt that the way monsanto works ?
_________________________
3/4 inch of dust build up on the moon in 4.527 billion years,LOL and QM is fantasy science.

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#34281 - 05/10/10 02:04 AM Re: Rise of the Superweed [Re: paul]
Warren Offline
Member

Registered: 04/08/07
Posts: 45
Loc: Paducah, Kentucky
Best ultimate solution to the problem is to develop mass-producible (thus cheap) mini-robots, perhaps solar-powered, that roam fields and pluck out any plant other than the crop, while they are yet very small. Thus all agriculture will be organic.

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#34282 - 05/10/10 02:10 AM Re: Rise of the Superweed [Re: Warren]
Amaranth Rose II Offline

Superstar

Registered: 12/16/06
Posts: 962
Loc: Southeast Nebraska, USA
Warren, that's the best use of technology I've heard of in many a day. It would be even better if the mini-robots were assembled by a staff of robots. The whole process would be mechanized, and require no more labor than a manager to supervise the assembly 'bots. Thus putting more people out of work. Oops, there had to be a downside.
_________________________
If you don't care for reality, just wait a while; another will be along shortly. --A Rose


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#34287 - 05/10/10 03:48 AM Re: Rise of the Superweed [Re: Amaranth Rose II]
Warren Offline
Member

Registered: 04/08/07
Posts: 45
Loc: Paducah, Kentucky
Thank you Amaranth Rose, that's a good idea about being made by robots, or at least mostly automated-- every field would need thousands of them, moving slowly like beetles to conserve energy, and small enough to easily move between the crops.

They could be used until they wear out, when they signal a problem and another one nearby carries them out to be recycled. At harvest time a universal signal would have them clear the field. Even though they might last a long time they would still need to be quite cheap.

Another advantage-- because they are machines rather than living things they would not be tasty to birds or other animals smile

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#34300 - 05/10/10 05:18 PM Re: Rise of the Superweed [Re: Warren]
paul Offline
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Registered: 03/21/06
Posts: 4136
Great Idea Warren

this would be the next step in industry removal as agriculture
is our only remaining large scale industry.

and if we can compete with the extremely low wage countries
using robots we just might be able to maintain our leadership
in agriculture.

I know that the solar industry is already using robots to clean
the solar reflector pannels in solar farms , so why no use them in agriculture also.

these robots would mean many high paid high tech jobs
and since shipping is so expensive that would mean that
many new robot factories would pop up to fill the need
for these robots.

heck when you look at a modern tractor these days you kind of wonder why they even need a driver in them , they could even be
opperated by a robot, they already have gps in them.

just program it and let it go.

international harvester already uses robotics to do most of the construction of the combines they produce in the U.S.A.
not in some foreign country , so at least they are wise
to whats happening , and they know that to be competitive in this
world of extremely low wages you must use robotics.










_________________________
3/4 inch of dust build up on the moon in 4.527 billion years,LOL and QM is fantasy science.

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#34301 - 05/10/10 06:29 PM Re: Rise of the Superweed [Re: Warren]
samwik Offline
Megastar

Registered: 10/10/06
Posts: 1164
Loc: Colorado
Originally Posted By: Warren
Best ultimate solution to the problem is to develop mass-producible (thus cheap) mini-robots, perhaps solar-powered, that roam fields and pluck out any plant other than the crop, while they are yet very small. Thus all agriculture will be organic.

Wow! What a great idea. Sure it can't be one extreme or the other, but robots could be an extension of the farmer's hands and other senses. Robots could monitor soil moisture, nutrient status, and even provide some watering services while they are also culling weeds. Some of that information might be available soon via satellite-mediated remote sensing of the farmer's fields, but maybe the two methods could be combined; with robots receiving commands from the satellite (or providing calibrating information for the satellite).

Robots in Agriculture! Of course! :headslap:
There are all sorts of possibilities that evolve from that singular idea. I think these qualify as synergized solutions, the best kind. I "second" Paul's post. Good going Warren!

p.s. ...and Thanks Mike! for the very neat article on evolving resistance.


Edited by samwik (05/10/10 06:31 PM)
Edit Reason: add p.s.
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#34302 - 05/10/10 10:43 PM Re: Rise of the Superweed [Re: samwik]
Mike Kremer Offline

Megastar

Registered: 10/16/04
Posts: 1696
Loc: London UK
Originally Posted By: samwik
Originally Posted By: Warren
Best ultimate solution to the problem is to develop mass-producible (thus cheap) mini-robots, perhaps solar-powered, that roam fields and pluck out any plant other than the crop, while they are yet very small. Thus all agriculture will be organic.

Wow! What a great idea. Sure it can't be one extreme or the other, but robots could be an extension of the farmer's hands and other senses. Robots could monitor soil moisture, nutrient status, and even provide some watering services while they are also culling weeds. Some of that information might be available soon via satellite-mediated remote sensing of the farmer's fields, but maybe the two methods could be combined; with robots receiving commands from the satellite (or providing calibrating information for the satellite).

Robots in Agriculture! Of course! :headslap:
There are all sorts of possibilities that evolve from that singular idea. I think these qualify as synergized solutions, the best kind. I "second" Paul's post. Good going Warren!

p.s. ...and Thanks Mike! for the very neat article on evolving resistance.


[quote=Mike Kremer]

Gosh, I had no idea you guys were so interested in Robots.
If it had'nt been for Amaranths tongue-in-cheek posting, I would have renamed this post the "Rise of the Robots",
..Or the demise of humans. (thru lack of jobs, food, money and sheer boredom).
_________________________
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"You will never find a real Human being - Even in a mirror." ....Mike Kremer.



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#34303 - 05/10/10 11:52 PM Re: Rise of the Superweed [Re: Mike Kremer]
Warren Offline
Member

Registered: 04/08/07
Posts: 45
Loc: Paducah, Kentucky
Thank you guys for the positive comments on my suggestion. Got the idea from those cheap little vacumn/dusting robots that you turn loose in a room and thought, why not a random search through a field.

But if the crops were neatly spaced in neat rows they wouldn't have to even discriminate between different plant forms, but just go straight down between the rows and remove anything growing that was out of place, making the technological challenges simpler.

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#34304 - 05/11/10 12:35 AM Re: Rise of the Superweed [Re: Warren]
kallog Offline
Megastar

Registered: 03/17/10
Posts: 1100
Yea awesome idea. But you stole it from me :P While I was working as a farm weeder I told my boss that I wanted to make a robot to replace our jobs, and she just laughed!! Weeding really is a simple and mindless task.

Another advantage of robots over weedkiller is sometimes the problem isn't weeds, it's other crops that have contaminated the field. So they're already effectively Roundup proof.

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#34308 - 05/11/10 02:56 AM Re: Rise of the Superweed [Re: Warren]
paul Offline
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Registered: 03/21/06
Posts: 4136
somebody beat us to it , there already here , farm robots

you need to learn how to time travel , it seems.

but I dont see any micro robots yet , and they should be much cheaper.
especially if they are built mostly by robots and just supervised , programmed
and serviced by human beings as amaranth sudgested.
_________________________
3/4 inch of dust build up on the moon in 4.527 billion years,LOL and QM is fantasy science.

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#34311 - 05/11/10 03:34 AM Re: Rise of the Superweed [Re: paul]
Warren Offline
Member

Registered: 04/08/07
Posts: 45
Loc: Paducah, Kentucky
Obviously Paul they just need to be improved and perfected, else they would already be in every field in the Midwest!

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#34314 - 05/11/10 07:15 AM Re: Rise of the Superweed [Re: Warren]
Amaranth Rose II Offline

Superstar

Registered: 12/16/06
Posts: 962
Loc: Southeast Nebraska, USA
Warren, there has to be some discrimination. Weeds sometimes grow IN the rows, and they have to be deleted somehow. So the pattern recognition software would have to take that into account. But it's not too difficult to tell a weed from a crop plant. Okay, maybe it's hard to tell shatter cane from corn or milo (sorghum), but that would be a worst case scenario. For the most part it's pretty easy to tell what is a weed. Of course, you wouldn't want your corn programmed robots invading a soybean field and mistaking the soybeans for weeds, but a little creative engineering would make that a non-problem. It's all in your focus.
_________________________
If you don't care for reality, just wait a while; another will be along shortly. --A Rose


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#34319 - 05/11/10 05:39 PM Re: Rise of the Superweed [Re: Amaranth Rose II]
Warren Offline
Member

Registered: 04/08/07
Posts: 45
Loc: Paducah, Kentucky
Sounds like companies could start working on that now, since I believe we have that technology— just have to put it all together.

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#34322 - 05/11/10 08:55 PM Re: Rise of the Superweed [Re: Warren]
paul Offline
Megastar

Registered: 03/21/06
Posts: 4136
Warren
if you want to pursue this idea , or to just develope a web
based application for the robots using gps , or a web based community , or any
other web based application try the below link . you can get anything you could
possibly need over a three year period to accomplish almost any goal.
and it only cost $100.00 us at the end of the 3 years.

there are also companies that are willing to help you
start up your buisness with $18,000 start up funding.

so have a look.

P.S.
Microsoft Robotics Studio is also there , the full
version not trial software.
all the software and opperating systems are full retail version , of course there are betas available.



Microsoft Biz Spark Program , all the software you could possibly need to start
_________________________
3/4 inch of dust build up on the moon in 4.527 billion years,LOL and QM is fantasy science.

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#34330 - 05/12/10 06:06 AM Re: Rise of the Superweed [Re: paul]
Warren Offline
Member

Registered: 04/08/07
Posts: 45
Loc: Paducah, Kentucky
Thank you Paul— I would probably need an investor and a robotics engineer, and on top of that I am a city boy who knows little about farming. But am toying with the idea of venturing forth with a website of some sort to start things off. Thanks for the ideas to get started. —Warren

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#34334 - 05/12/10 07:25 AM Re: Rise of the Superweed [Re: Warren]
Warren Offline
Member

Registered: 04/08/07
Posts: 45
Loc: Paducah, Kentucky
Looks like there's already been a lot of work done--

"Autonomous robotic weed control systems hold promise toward the automation of one of agriculture's few remaining unmechanized and drudging tasks, hand weed control. Robotic technology may also provide a means of reducing agriculture's current dependency on herbicides, improving its sustainability and reducing its environmental impact. This review describes the current status of the four core technologies (guidance, detection and identification, precision in-row weed control, and mapping) required for the successful development of a general-purpose robotic system for weed control. Of the four, detection and identification of weeds under the wide range of conditions common to agricultural fields remains the greatest challenge. A few complete robotic weed control systems have demonstrated the potential of the technology in the field. Additional research and development is needed to fully realize this potential."

http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1343305

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#34372 - 05/13/10 04:40 PM Re: Rise of the Superweed [Re: Warren]
Mike Kremer Offline

Megastar

Registered: 10/16/04
Posts: 1696
Loc: London UK
Originally Posted By: Warren
Looks like there's already been a lot of work done--

"Autonomous robotic weed control systems hold promise toward the automation of one of agriculture's few remaining unmechanized and drudging tasks, hand weed control. ...........................>.................> A few complete robotic weed control systems have demonstrated the potential of the technology in the field. Additional research and development is needed to fully realize this potential."

http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1343305


Originally Posted By: Mike Kremer


As you mention-"Additional research and development is needed to fully realize this potential".

Everything has its natural growing season, ....even weeds.
When weeds and crops share the same growing season, would'nt that make things more difficult?
How about the rise of Hydroponics? Now that would make the weeding of high value crops,....obsolete.
_________________________
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.
"You will never find a real Human being - Even in a mirror." ....Mike Kremer.



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#34490 - 05/24/10 06:55 PM Re: Rise of the Superweed [Re: Mike Kremer]
ImagingGeek Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/19/10
Posts: 410
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: Mike Kremer

We knew it might happen sometime, and now it has..
"The Rise of the Superweed"...American farmers’ near-ubiquitous use of the weedkiller Roundup has now led to the rapid growth of these tenacious new Superweeds.


A little late replying, just saw this thread today...

I don't think any of us in the biology field are surprised by this occurrence; its exactly what you would expect given how evolution works. It was never a matter of "if" resistant weeds would evolve, but rather a matter of "when". And Monsanto isn't alone in this - pesticide-resistant pests & weeds are arising to nearly all major pesticides and herbicides.

Its inevitable; since its impossible to ensure that the enterty of a field is covered with a lethal dose of pesticide/herbicide, you'll inevitably have regions where pest species are exposed to sub-lethal doses of the agent. Any slight resistance will be selected for in these areas, leading over time to a population of organisms capable of handling higher doses of the agent. Repeat this over time, and eventually you select for a resistant pest species.

Originally Posted By: paul
Isnt that the way monsanto works?...then they design new more powerfull products that will kill what they designed earlier.


I doubt monsanto (and the various other pesticide/herbicide produces) planned this. Keep in mind we live in a world where most people don't "believe" in evolution, and even among those who "believe" in it, a large portion remain ignorant as to how it works.

Biologists have been warning, for decades, of the inevitable rise of resistance to products such as these - and we've been ignored. But what you see today is exactly what we predicted - antibiotic (and now, even sanitizer-resistant!) bacteria, pesticide-resistant insects, herbicide-resistant weeds, etc. Monsanto et al are not making money off of this - as their products become less effective, they loose sales. No replacement products are on the horizon, and given the higher safety and environmental standards of today, development of replacement products is prohibitively expensive.

Monsanto is a perfect example - how many new herbicides have they developed (new as in new compounds, not new mixtures of old compounds). The answer - zero (I think).

Basically, you're looking for conspiracies where none exist - human stupidity, not deviousness, is all that it took for this to happen.

Bryan
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#34501 - 05/25/10 04:51 AM Re: Rise of the Superweed [Re: ImagingGeek]
kallog Offline
Megastar

Registered: 03/17/10
Posts: 1100
I think it's great. If weedkillers don't work it'll force those weeding robot makers into gear. Afterall it's probably only the existance of cheap weedkillers that's keeping them from rapid development and use.

Then of course there'll be the robot-resistant weeds that fight back with their fiberous, planty skill-saws and hammers :P

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