Weekend open thread: High-tech, low return edition

What’s on your mind this weekend, Bleeding Heartland readers? I’ve been thinking about some high-tech failures. For instance, genetically-modified seeds were supposed to solve farmers’ weed problems. Yet weeds resistant to glyphosate (the main ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide) are "gaining ground" across Iowa. The problem is worse on farms where Monsanto’s Roundup Ready seeds have been planted the longest.

Rootworms “resistant to one type of genetically engineered corn” are also a growing problem. Genetically-modified seed was supposed to make corn plants poisonous to rootworm, but now farmers are “deploying more chemical pesticides than before.” The outcome was predictable.

On a related note, research shows that nitrogen enrichment through added fertilizers can hurt plant diversity and productivity of grasslands in the long term.

Some Midwestern cities and towns “are absorbing a financial beating after betting big on an innovative coal-fired power plant” during the last decade. “Clean coal” was always a boondoggle.

Speaking of costly investments, the state of Iowa continues to shovel tax credits to Orascom for a fertilizer plant project that would have been built in Iowa anyway. But hey, what’s another $25 million?

This is an open thread: all topics welcome.

You need to signin or signup to post a comment.