As the New York Times has it in Farmers Cope With Roundup-Resistant Weeds, the use of Roundup, a weedkiller, is creating "superweeds" and big trouble for farmers:

But farmers sprayed so much Roundup that weeds quickly evolved to survive it. “What we’re talking about here is Darwinian evolution in fast-forward,” Mike Owen, a weed scientist at Iowa State University, said.

Having landed themselves in this situation due to this practice in non-organic farming, the answer is this:

"… plowing and mixing herbicides into the soil to kill weeds where soybeans will soon be planted."


Better yet, in order to fight the superweeds, farmers are having to resort to " more toxic herbicides, pull weeds by hand and return to more labor-intensive methods like regular plowing", so:

"Farm experts say that such efforts could lead to higher food prices, lower crop yields, rising farm costs and more pollution of land and water."

Yes. Some time ago, reading a discussion of organic food prices, I chanced upon a statement that stuck with me (paraphrased to the best of my recollection):

It’s not that organic food prices are high,
but that conventional food prices are artificially low

Why are they artificially low? Because, rather than follow safe, sustainable, human- and environment-friendly practices, conventional-food farmers use poisons to handle weeds and pests. It’s the fast way, resulting in cheaper food for the consumer. Cheaper, but not better.

Discussing Roundup itself, the NYT goes on to say:

Sales took off in the late 1990s, after Monsanto created its brand of Roundup Ready crops that were genetically modified to tolerate the chemical, allowing farmers to spray their fields to kill the weeds while leaving the crop unharmed. Today, Roundup Ready crops account for about 90 percent of the soybeans and 70 percent of the corn and cotton grown in the United States.

Yow. I’ll have a little GMO soybean with my weedkiller, please.

So, there you have it. Cheap soybeans. Grown in soil prepared with herbicides.

Can pesticides be missing from this picture? I’d guess not.

There’s far more in the article: Farmers Cope With Roundup-Resistant Weeds

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