Glyphosate is a critical tool for Alberta’s sugar beet growers. When glyphosate-tolerant sugar beets were introduced in 2009, the cropping system revolutionized an industry that was struggling to control weeds.
“The first year we had 95 percent adoption. That gives you a sense for how difficult weed control was in sugar beets prior to Roundup Ready,” says Peter Regitnig, a research agronomist for more than 30 years with the Lantic Inc. sugar beet factory in Taber. Weed control was an intense process – applying post-emergent products at the right crop staging and in the right weather conditions. “The growers were spraying all the time in May and June to keep the weeds under control.”