Round up is the trade name for Glyphosate, one of the most widely used herbicides in the world. Glyphosate was discovered by Monsanto in 1970, and introduced into the marketplace in 1974. It is a broad spectrum herbicide that when sprayed and absorbed by the foliage, is systemically transported to the roots for complete kill. While Glyphosate is the chemical name, most people know it as Round up, but it’s manufactured and sold under many trade names now.
Glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide in the world in the agriculture market, and the second most used for home and landscape use. In agriculture, many crops such as soybeans and corn, have been developed for Round up resistance. So farmers can spray their field with Round up and control all weeds in an efficient and cost-effective way without harming the crop. At LawnAmerica, we mainly use Glyphosate in special situations, and we don’t really use it that much. When bermudagrass is dormant, we’ll spot-treat green perennial weeds such as fescue clumps and winter grassy weeds. Since they are green, it will control them, but not harm the dormant bermudagrass. We only do this during winter though. If we are going to seed fescue in the fall, we may use Glyphosate to kill all of the existing vegetation, so we can come back and seed a pure stand of fescue a few weeks after that. I use Round up to spray grass along edges, around trees, and in non-turf areas to control weeds. In fact, spraying Glyphosate around tree trunks not only saves time, it also prevents weed-eaters from killing your trees with the constant damage caused by them around the base of the tree.
So Round up is a great product, which helps feed the world in agriculture settings, helps homeowners and businesses with their landscapes, and has a proven track record of almost 50 years. In spite of that, certain anti-pesticide advocates have tried to claim that Glyphosate was a carcinogen and should be taken off the market. Same old story I’ve heard for over 30 years in this business. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) along with the World Health Organization (WHO) earlier this week issued a research report which clears Glyphosate, saying it’s “unlikely to pose a carcinogenic risk to humans.” And that’s for people who ingest food that was treated in an agriculture setting. Exposure from a lawn or landscape treatment is next to nothing for a homeowner.
So as with all of the products we use at LawnAmerica, rest assured that they are safe if used properly, and pose no unreasonable risk to people, pets, or the environment. If anyone should be concerned, it’s us, the people who use and are exposed to these products every day. For more information on the report from FAO/WHO, go to the following link at: http://blog.landscapeprofessionals.org/who-report-clears-glyphosate/