Alison AplinGlyphosate and soil biology

Research is being undertaken by several universities into the effects of glyphosate on soil biota. Concerned consumers are being told it now stays in the soil for a number of years even if applied only once.

Doing my own research into this subject I found that there is an increase of soil activity, especially an increase of fungi after an application. However there is a decrease in bacteria. The university research also says that the increase in fungi in the soil is leading to rot in a number of crop species. An interesting article and to read further on this:

Pesticide Effects on Soil Biology by Jill Clapperton from the Conservation Agriculture Alliance of Australia & New Zealand

A.S.F. Araújo, R.T.R. Monteiro & R.B. Abarkeli, 2003, Effect of glyphosate on the microbial activity of two Brazilian soils, Chemosphere 52: 799-804

(Extract from Sustainable Gardening Australia – eclippings)

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Alison Aplin

About Alison Aplin

Alison is a passionate, multi award winning sustainable landscape designer, Horticulturist and arborist. She has been the owner and designer of 2 Ecotourism gardens that have both won significant awards. Her writing is based on knowledge, empirical learning which is essential to sustainable ethic, and a questioning mind leading to much research. Her articles are often controversial - with a disclaimer that she is responsible for the written matter, and not Garden Drum. A deeply caring person about the natural environment, Alison's writing endeavours to explain why sustainable landscapes are so important. Without people like her, they will be lost and gardens will become merely concrete

2 thoughts on “Glyphosate and soil biology

  1. Stu Burns on said:

    I am really interested in the research going on in this field currently. It would seem that anything used in excess will create problems, and glyphosate is not the non-toxic wonder spray it was touted early on in the piece.

    It’s good to get a discussion started on this topic, The potential benefits of a low toxicity herbicide are huge, and glyphosate still has its place, but I think it all depends on the scale of application.

  2. Alison on said:

    Hello Stu
    Yes I agree with you that glyphosate has not proven to be the safe herbicide previously thought. I would also wonder whether a lot of the problem is overzealous use of it as you allude. I know first-hand people who blithely think that to use it full strength must have a better effect.
    The article suggests that a lot of the good bacteria present in a healthy soil is depleted through constant use of the product. I would then ask the question, ‘Would GoGo Juice replace these lost bacteria’? Just a thought.
    If only we could get people to use recommended doses for products, then we wouldn’t end up with potentially good products being rated as toxic.
    Alison

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