soil life after glyphosate

Asked September 16, 2015, 8:14 AM EDT

The farm I am taking over has been planted for the past 4-5 years using glyphosate. When, if ever, will I be able to plant crops using conventional planting methods? Also, is there anything I can do to help this transition back to conventional farming? Also, I will be pasturing livestock down hill from the farmed land. Will the surface run off water going through the livestock pasture be safe from glyphosates for the animals? Thank you, Pat

Westmoreland County Pennsylvania

1 Response

You can begin planting at any time in the ground, since glyphosate has no preemergence activity as it is strongly bound to soil. If you want to use organic methods, certifying agencies require 3 years without chemicals. Glyphosate has a soil half life ranging from 3-130 days, so within 1 year more than 90% of the glyphosate will have broken down in the soil. As for the water runoff from the field; if you are still concerned, I would recommend using notil if possible. If there is any glyphosate left in the soil, it will be trapped on the soil particles leaving the field. Using no-til and cover crops can reduce soil erosion. See this article for more information on the fate of glyphosate: http://www.cdpr.ca.gov/docs/emon/pubs/fatememo/glyphos.pdf . Let us know if we can help you with anything else.