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Alabama Wages War Against the Perfect Weed

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the keep-watching-the-skies-dexter dept.

Earth 360

pickens writes "Dan Berry writes in the NY Times that the State of Alabama is spending millions of dollars in federal stimulus money to combat Cogongrass, a.k.a. the perfect weed, the killer weed, and the weed from another continent. A weed that 'evokes those old science-fiction movies in which clueless citizens ignore reports of an alien invasion.' Cogongrass (Imperata cylindrica) is considered one of the 10 worst weeds in the world. 'It can take over fields and forests, ruining crops, destroying native plants, upsetting the ecosystem,' writes Berry. 'It is very difficult to kill. It burns extremely hot. And its serrated leaves and grainy composition mean that animals with even the most indiscriminate palates — goats, for example — say no thanks.' Alabama's overall strategy is to draw a line across the state at Highway 80 and eradicate everything north of it; then, in phases, to try to control it to the south. But the weed is so resilient that you can't kill it with one application of herbicide, you have to return several months later and do it again. 'People think this is just a grass,' says forester Stephen Pecot. 'They don't understand that cogongrass can replace an entire ecosystem.' Left unchecked, Pecot says 'it could spread all the way to Michigan.'"

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The perfect weed? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29513257)

Here in British Columbia we don't wage war on it, it's our #1 export.

Re:The perfect weed? (3, Funny)

Cruciform (42896) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513747)

Out here on the opposite coast, another kind of weed is flourishing.
Japanese Knotweed. The stuff grows insanely fast and spreads rhizomatically, so it's a bitch to kill.
And the really sad thing is that when it's 8 feet tall and in blossom it must look like the catch of the day for the cops, because they keep flying over to check out the encroaching patch.

Re:The perfect weed? (1)

EvilBudMan (588716) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513913)

There is some of the real stuff growing along the roads out west too, but the THC content is so low that you would probably only get a headache, but if you pick it or go near it on a road side, then the cops will definitely arrest you. I also thought that BC only had the stuff for medical cases? You gotta wonder why just one guy would need tons of this stuff? Being from the south, I think I would rank kudzu above all. It is a useful plant though and maybe there could be a little more uses from it with some research. The ecosystem is a real bad deal. We have already lost the American chestnut to the Chinese chestnut and things like that, but to say "wooooo I really scared", no.

Re:The perfect weed? (3, Interesting)

muckracer (1204794) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513945)

> Out here on the opposite coast, another kind of weed is flourishing.
> Japanese Knotweed.

True that. Have seen it take over miles and miles of banks on the Delaware
river. Nothing else survives!
AFAIK you have to cut it carefully and then actually burn it. This stuff will
sprout even on a compost where you threw the cut-off plants. Any ideas to
prevent regrowth at the original site...salt on the roots perhaps?

Re:The perfect weed? (1)

OrangeMonkey11 (1553753) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513783)

I wouldn't call beasters the "Perfect Weed"

Re:The perfect weed? (1)

muckracer (1204794) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513911)

> Here in British Columbia we don't wage war on it, it's our #1 export.

Now imagine a hybrid...a joint venture so to speak between AL and BC.
Northern Cogon anyone? :-)

Kudzu (4, Funny)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513269)

Nice.

I'll have to plant some of that inbetween the patches of kudzu.

Now I only need a face-eater and I'll finally have a respectable death-world themed garden.

Re:Kudzu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29513427)

not unless the garden is taken care of by a windows-powered killer bot.

Re:Kudzu (1)

aitala (111068) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513905)

Well the real question is which is going to win out, Kudzu, cogongrass, or crown vetch....

Dr. E

Killing is so 1940's (2, Insightful)

noundi (1044080) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513277)

Mutate it to bring forth a strain which is tasty, and make those genes dominant. In 50 years time the goats will come around.

Alternatively mutate goats to have no sense of taste.

Re:mutate goats to have no sense of taste (4, Funny)

milosoftware (654147) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513349)

Having seen goats chewing happily on pieces of clothing and other garbage, mutating goats to have no sense of taste sounds to me like mutating rabbits to have long ears. (I was planning to write something slightly different but less suited for small children and Americans here.)

Re:mutate goats to have no sense of taste (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29513369)

Having seen goats chewing happily on pieces of clothing and other garbage, mutating goats to have no sense of taste sounds to me like mutating rabbits to have long ears. (I was planning to write something slightly different but less suited for small children and Americans here.)

I... don't get it.

Re:mutate goats to have no sense of taste (4, Funny)

RuBLed (995686) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513469)

It's like mutating your usual Ford and GM SUV to have more low-fuel indicator lights.

Re:mutate goats to have no sense of taste (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29513889)

It's like mutating your usual Ford and GM SUV to have more low-fuel indicator lights.

I... am even more confused.

The basis is sound. (2, Interesting)

El Jynx (548908) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513689)

I think they're barking up the wrong tree; controlling the weed seems like an expensive pasttime. Instead, I'd combat it genetically:
- start building up cultures of the weed, test the characteristics of different strains (go for ones that are more susceptible to infections, aphids, lower burn temperatures, less serrated edges, etc), breed these together, and create a weaker strain; distribute that across infested regions to weaken the weed.
- start building up cultures of creatures that can (potentially) see the weed as a source of dinner, breed these to make them more voracious, and ultimately spread them at the same time that the weakened next generation of the weed from step 1 takes hold. This should ensure a successful startup of the weed killer.

This way you can change it from a curse into a blessing for the bugs, and from there on for many sections of the food chain. Bugs are the plankton of the land. You might even be able to apply such evolutionary abuse to many different scenario's: bullfrogs in australia, or the heaping of plastic particles in the Pacific by breeding plankton, for example. An this way, you're following a perfectly natural course; you're just helping it along a little by speeding the implementation of a counterbalance.

Re:The basis is sound. (4, Insightful)

digitig (1056110) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513739)

I think they're barking up the wrong tree; controlling the weed seems like an expensive pasttime. Instead, I'd combat it genetically: - start building up cultures of the weed, test the characteristics of different strains (go for ones that are more susceptible to infections, aphids, lower burn temperatures, less serrated edges, etc), breed these together, and create a weaker strain; distribute that across infested regions to weaken the weed.

Surely natural selection would just mean that the weaker versions of the weed would be selected against and so their genes would be eliminated from the gene pool again, leaving just the toughest varieties?

Re:The basis is sound. (1)

El Jynx (548908) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513941)

The trick is to get the current - probably very strong - strain mixed with weaker ones, so that for the short term at least, it's weakened enough that the bugs can get a grip. After that, evolution will indeed kick in and the best plant or bug will win. The trick is to give that first generation an extra boost.

Re:mutate goats to have no sense of taste (0)

Spazztastic (814296) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513843)

(I was planning to write something slightly different but less suited for small children and Americans here.)

Not all of us are looking to censor vulgar speech or freak out at the sight of a bare chested woman. Most of us actually are quite foul mouthed, and being on this website and even reading the comments probably means that the most of us aren't easily offended.

Also, fuck you.

Re:Killing is so 1940's (2, Insightful)

MjDelves (811950) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513381)

Mutate it to bring forth a strain which is tasty, and make those genes dominant. In 50 years time the goats will come around. Alternatively mutate goats to have no sense of taste.

..... but then it won't spread so fast cos it's busy being eaten, and so unmutated strain will outcompete it leaving you back at square one.... Anything that is so undiscriminating about what it eats will probably eat everything else, posing another problem.

Re:Killing is so 1940's (2)

noundi (1044080) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513547)

Mutate it to bring forth a strain which is tasty, and make those genes dominant. In 50 years time the goats will come around. Alternatively mutate goats to have no sense of taste.

..... but then it won't spread so fast cos it's busy being eaten, and so unmutated strain will outcompete it leaving you back at square one.... Anything that is so undiscriminating about what it eats will probably eat everything else, posing another problem.

If it was evolution, yes, but one could simply "spread the seeds."

Re:Killing is so 1940's (1)

SleepingWaterBear (1152169) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513859)

If it was evolution, yes, but one could simply "spread the seeds."

Exactly. Spread the seeds for the weak strain, and then kill off the strong strain so that the seeds can grow without competition, and before long the strong strain will have been completely eliminated!

Re:Killing is so 1940's (3, Interesting)

hey! (33014) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513751)

Genetic alteration to make inedible things food (oh, sorry, got that backwards -- make food inedible) is so 1970s.

We've got to figure out how to turn this stuff into biodiesel.

Re:Killing is so 1940's (1, Insightful)

noundi (1044080) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513933)

Genetic alteration to make inedible things food (oh, sorry, got that backwards -- make food inedible) is so 1970s.

We've got to figure out how to turn this stuff into biodiesel.

Ah but you didn't let me finish. Here, let me explain by using this simple profit flow chart:

1. Mutate weed to create new and tasty weed, with dominant genes.
2. Spread it and wait until all bases are belong to them.
3. Commence operation goat rollout.
4. Turn goat into biodiesel.
5. Profit!

Re:Killing is so 1940's (2, Insightful)

lubricated (49106) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513931)

That's not how it works. Just because the gene is dominant, doesn't mean that it will spread.

Disappointed (5, Funny)

celibate for life (1639541) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513279)

I had an entirely different thing in mind when I read "the perfect weed".

Re:Disappointed (2, Funny)

ElephanTS (624421) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513301)

Yeah right me too! Nothing about the smokability and I RTFA!!

Re:Disappointed (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29513487)

yeah about that, i think it would be cheaper to make a breed that IS smokable have them crosspolenize, and in a few years it will be gone :)

Re:Disappointed (1, Informative)

plams (744927) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513519)

I reached the Wikipedia article on Imperata cylindrica [wikipedia.org] , saw the "Weed problems" section and thought, "..slang is usually rejected by the sta... oooohhh, that kind of weed!"

Re:Disappointed (2, Funny)

noidentity (188756) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513541)

I had an entirely different thing in mind when I read "the perfect weed".

Don't worry, they've been waging a decades-long war against that one too. Maybe they'll have more success against this one...

Re:Disappointed (4, Funny)

laughing_badger (628416) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513591)

"Man, that is flagrant false advertising!" :)

Re:Disappointed (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29513623)

Yes, and I was smoking some of the perfect weed recently.

Now, well, I'm just hungry.

from roadtrip..... (1)

MoFoQ (584566) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513719)

yea...same here...for some reason, I thought of that one scene from one of the Road Trip movies...where the nerd develops the "perfect weed" that is undetectable....etc.

Re:Disappointed (4, Funny)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513773)

But therein lies the solution. Get Monsanto to genetically modify pollen from the plant to include huge quantities of THC. Release pollen into the wild. As the THC levels in the plants rise, tell the stoners that pot may be illegal but this stuff isn't even on the radar. Inform Frito-Lay to ramp up production. Then I guess I'll just stick a few ???'s in here and declare profit!

The Perfect Weed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29513283)

So, can one smoke it?

Re:The Perfect Weed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29513375)

My thoughts exactly... this weed needs to be crossbred with Cannibis immediately!

Re:The Perfect Weed? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29513457)

My thoughts exactly... this weed needs to be crossbred with Cannibis immediately!

Actually, that's a great idea. It could shift a large part of the eradication effort to the federal budget, saving Alabama a fortune.

Perfect crime/terrorism (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29513289)

Genetically engineer a variante of that grass that is resistant to herbicides and infest your "favorite" competitor's/enemy's fields.

Criminials and terrorists these days are all about the quick short term damages. Nobody thinks about long term, sustainable damage these days. *sigh* Amateurs!

Re:Perfect crime/terrorism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29513309)

Nobody thinks about long term, sustainable damage these days.

Don't fear, the US government has your interests at heart on the war against we the people.

Re:Perfect crime/terrorism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29513383)

Except you'll end up in the same situation. What, do you think the invasive grass will simply stop at your neighbor's borders?

Re:Perfect crime/terrorism (2, Insightful)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513467)

I'm fairly confident that it'll take some time for it to cross the American-Afghan border ;-).

Re:Perfect crime/terrorism (2, Interesting)

phoenix321 (734987) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513583)

Grass meet vehicle undercarriage, boots, wheels etc. Equipment, meet grass.

If there's any soldier from Alabama over there in Afghanistan - and I bet there's more than one or two, I guess - then the weed will already be there.

Afghanistan is still busy eradicating several other pests, so that weed is not on the priority list yet. After all, it helps against soil erosion, is pretty durable and could make Afghanistan look much greener than today. Maybe it's not so bad when the current status is naked soil everywhere beyond the horizon...

Re:Perfect crime/terrorism (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513653)

Dur, if the weed was as contagious as you claim then it would be all over the USA already. So obviously it's not. Hence your point is moot.

Re:Perfect crime/terrorism (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513769)

Don't even think of this. In the first half of 1950s, East Europe took for granted that the invasion of Leptinotarsa decemlineata that took place at that time was the evil work of American imperialists and their agents, even though there certainly was no positive proof of that. On the Internet, there is a scan of a cute public notice from that time signed by a "Regional Commisioner for Erradicating the American Beetle". There were even educational books for the kids [mac.com] , which were a little less cute.

So if you say things like this, when the crops fail in North Korea due to some strange weed next time, for all you know, the next day a North Korean nuke might land on the top of your head. ;-)

Re:Perfect crime/terrorism (4, Funny)

sqldr (838964) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513797)

I'm ahead of you there. A couple of years ago, I photoshopped the words "OH HAI" on a picture of a kitten, and now we're already seeing the results of my work.. the complete destruction of the entire English language is already nigh.

fuel source candidate (3, Funny)

La Gris (531858) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513323)

If it can be processed as fuel and ever spread to Michigan.. "Hey GM, fuel comes to you!"

Alternatively, an army of junk weed smoker could eradicate it better than goats.

Re:fuel source candidate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29513765)

Me fail English? That's unpossible!

Turn in into advantage ! (4, Interesting)

Gori (526248) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513325)

If it is that resilient and fast growing, you will not be able to control it anyhow. Many, many examples of invasive species throughout the world show this. So, just learn how to harvest it and make biodiesel/biogas/electricity out of it. No intensive agriculture, ferilizers or herbicides needed. Plus, this might piss off the corn/ethanol lobby enough to actually start taking action against the grass. Ether way, we win. Oh yeah, biodiversity losses, but that is shafted anyway...

Re:Turn in into advantage ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29513553)

No intensive agriculture, ferilizers or herbicides needed.

So basically you are proposing something that will be stopped by Monsanto and their ilk, before it leaves the planning stage. Right now they use herbicides from Monsanto. That's how lobbyists want it to be.

Re:Turn in into advantage ! (5, Funny)

digitalhermit (113459) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513595)

I understand that there is a species of lizard that feasts on this grass. Maybe that is an option.

Re:Turn in into advantage ! (3, Insightful)

jimicus (737525) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513669)

I understand that there is a species of lizard that feasts on this grass. Maybe that is an option.

And the introduce Chinese Needle Snakes when you're overrun with lizards, yes?

Re:Turn in into advantage ! (4, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513787)

And the introduce Chinese Needle Snakes when you're overrun with lizards, yes?

And when you're overrun with Chinese Needle Snakes, introduce more Chinese fast food restaurants.

Re:Turn in into advantage ! (2, Funny)

jimicus (737525) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513875)

No, you introduce gorillas. They thrive on snake meat.

Re:Turn in into advantage ! (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513909)

OK, OK, the China fast foods come after the gorillas...

Re:Turn in into advantage ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29513951)

What happens to the Gorillas when winter comes?

Re:Turn in into advantage ! (3, Informative)

Gori (526248) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513709)

That has been tried a number of times, and each time ended in a epic fail. For a case study, talk to any Aussie about Rabbits http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rabbits_in_Australia [wikipedia.org] or about the cane toad see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cane_toad [wikipedia.org]

Re:Turn in into advantage ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29513837)

Or goats or horses or camels or rats or or or...

Maybe Australia should return the favour - Kangaroos in Kansas, Emus in Iowa

Re:Turn in into advantage ! (3, Informative)

Fotherington (962601) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513935)

Looking at the Wikipedia article [wikipedia.org] , both your examples involve vertebrates, which are definitely a bad idea (it also mentions the introduction of mongooses to Hawaii). Biological pest control using e.g. insects [wikipedia.org] , or fungi [wikipedia.org] targetting the undesirable species can work very effectively if research is put in [udel.edu] to make sure that the native species won't be affected.

Re:Turn in into advantage ! (1)

don_carnage (145494) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513775)

But then we'll need something to eat the lizards!

Re:Turn in into advantage ! (1)

slinks (1627039) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513883)

But then we'll need something to eat the lizards!

then we get snake eating gorillas and let winter take care of the rest!

Re:Turn in into advantage ! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29513685)

Didn't TFS say that this weed burns unusually hot? Sounds perfect for a fuel source.

Re:Turn in into advantage ! (4, Informative)

arielCo (995647) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513791)

Thing is, it does a lot more damage than the dreaded corn plantations [nps.gov] :

ECOLOGICAL THREAT Cogon grass can invade and overtake disturbed ecosystems, forming a dense mat of thatch and leaves that makes it nearly impossible for other plants to coexist. Large infestations of cogon grass can alter the normal fire regime of a fire-driven ecosystem by causing more frequent and intense fires that injure or destroy native plants. Cogon grass displaces a large variety of native plant species used by native animals (e.g., insects, mammals, and birds) as forage, host plants and shelter. Some ground-nesting species have also been known to be displaced due to the dense cover that cogon grass creates.

Also, it won't just stay together in a patch but it reaches out [wikipedia.org] . WP dixit:

It spreads both through small seeds, which are easily carried by the wind, and rhizomes which can be transported by tilling equipment and in soil transport.

Nasty thing.

Re:Turn in into advantage ! (1)

mpe (36238) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513881)

If it is that resilient and fast growing, you will not be able to control it anyhow. Many, many examples of invasive species throughout the world show this. So, just learn how to harvest it and make biodiesel/biogas/electricity out of it.

It apparently burns even when green. So using it to fuel a powerstation is the most obvious use.
BR> No intensive agriculture, ferilizers or herbicides needed.

Considering how much herbicide is needed to kill it it's only a matter of time before resistance evolves.

We need nukes (1)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513345)

I have always warned that the Italians would strike the soft Southern underbelly of our Fatherland with their bio-warfare attacks. America needs the tools to fight back against these nefarious bio-terror agents. Liberal whiners will whine, but this situation calls for targeted thermonuclear blasts to eradicate the Italian weeds. First we evacuate all Americans from Alabama, then we use our nuclear submarine attack force to uproot the weeds once and for all. Alabamans can live in survival cave shelters for fifty to 100 years, at which the radiation will have returned to safe levels. Then Alabama can be rebuilt and the damage from this Italian sneak attack can be undone.

Combatting Congress (2, Funny)

RivenAleem (1590553) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513357)

I totally read this as

"Congress, a.k.a. the perfect weed"

Re:Combatting Congress (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513439)

Cogongrass is the opposite of... prongrass?

Perhaps Useful? Biomass to fuel? (3, Interesting)

assemblerex (1275164) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513371)

Can this voracious weed perhaps be turned into biofuel? It seems to grow fast, and almost anywhere.
Why not grind it up and compost it to make methane or something.

Japanese Knot Weed (5, Informative)

buggy_throwback (259436) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513401)

We have the same problem in the UK with Japanese Knot Weed. Nothing eats it, it can respawn from the smallest cutting. So you can't burn it, you can't throw it away, you can only poison it. And each stem has to be done individually, and the process needs to be repeated two or three times to kill the bloody thing. They're talking about introducing some japanese insects that feed on it, but then what's to say they wont prefer strawberries or wheat or something else?

Re:Japanese Knot Weed (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513517)

Its payback for all the blackberry homesick poms planted in Australia.

Re:Japanese Knot Weed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29513691)

I'm pretty sure that there's another non-native invasive foreign specimen which has taken over Oz. And quite a few of you chose to go *jogging* in a dust storm. Hopefully Darwin will win again in this situation.

Re:Japanese Knot Weed (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513825)

Why is jogging in a dust storm the best way of meeting people in Australia?

Re:Japanese Knot Weed (1)

Rigrig (922033) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513631)

Don't worry, eventually the gorillas simply freeze to death when wintertime rolls around.

Re:Japanese Knot Weed (3, Interesting)

dayjn (942897) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513703)

Four years ago, I did battle with Japanese Knot Weed in the back garden of a house we rented in Cambridge. I tried to kill it for two years by digging it up and applying weed killer. It was very resilient, but I was winning the battle before we left that house. This was a small area looked after by a pretty determined individual (me), I can't imagine what it would take to get rid of it from the the huge areas it occupies such as the valleys around Cardiff.

Re:Japanese Knot Weed (1)

yabastaaa (877550) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513887)

Actually, we can eat it - when it's young and bright red, cut it and boil it like it's rhubarb. Not sure if it tastes good though!

Also, it can be landfilled, but only in special sites, by appropriately-certified waste processors, where it'll be wrapped in several layers of thick plastic and buried more than seven metres underground. Any other means of disposal leaves you liable to be prosecuted for spreading a dangerous/controlled substance.

What's that you say? (1)

unitron (5733) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513407)

The State of Alabama is spending millions of dollars in federal stimulus money to combat Congress?

Re:What's that you say? (1)

machine321 (458769) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513567)

That hasn't happened since the '60s!

strategy. (1)

Mysund (60792) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513419)

The highway 80 strategy sounds good.

But to make it evenmore successfull, imagine what the combination of the highway 80 accessabillity, and a "scientific report" that states that the smoke from burning the plant, contains hallucinogens, would do to the plant...

Hello Darwin, Hi Monsanto (0)

Atreide (16473) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513435)

In Evolution terms
biologic systems fight for survival and propagation
at this game
that weed definitively is a winner
which can also be problematic
for earth overwhole winner : man.

but don't panic
Monsanto and its friends will
surely find some genetic magic
to kill that weed
ooh by the way
you'll have to pay
not only to kill
but also
to protect from its return.

finally
genetic business is
probably the Evolution winner...

Re:Hello Darwin, Hi Monsanto (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29513573)

BURMA SHAVE

Re:Hello Darwin, Hi Monsanto (1)

Eightbitgnosis (1571875) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513599)

Nah, Monsanto will just patent the plant and then sue the states with the weed

Re:Hello Darwin, Hi Monsanto (1)

Hyler (99628) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513771)

your poem doesn't
rhyme and isn't a five-se
ven-five haiku either eh

Don't use the return key so much and use the shift key and punctuation some more.

Re:Hello Darwin, Hi Monsanto (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29513865)

Burma shave.

Nuke it from orbit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29513509)

It's the only way to be sure.

Sounds a lot like Kudzu (4, Informative)

mbone (558574) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513533)

This sounds a lot like Kudzu - another plant brought over from Japan.

From TFA "For a while, government officials encouraged the use of cogongrass as a forage crop and as a way to stem soil erosion."

We did that with Kudzu too. What's with these agricultural guys promoting alien species they clearly know nothing about ?

Although, if nothing wants to eat it, why promote it as a forage crop ? That does suggest that some animal must like it. There must be some reason why the South of Japan is not one mass of Kudzu and cogongrass.

Re:Sounds a lot like Kudzu (2, Informative)

juggledean (792527) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513735)

You can eat kudzu leaves as salad or boiled greens. Goats will eat it as well.

Re:Sounds a lot like Kudzu (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29513815)

There must be some reason why the South of Japan is not one mass of Kudzu and cogongrass.

Both kudzu and cogongrass grow wildly from the northern tip to the southern end of Japan. (I live near the northern tip.) Find an open field, and there's cogongrass. It used to be used for the roofs of houses, so you needed lots and lots of it, which was quite convenient. Right now it just grows wild in whatever unattended plot there is. Mostly along rivers.

I think the difference is that there are other species that fight for space. A lot of Japanese weeds spread through root systems. As a result, there's a bit of a balance, which is lacking in the South U.S. Just don't try introducing ANOTHER alien species to try and achieve balance, it will just lead to other problems that disturb the ecosystem. We've got plenty of that too. A European bumble bee brought to pollinate tomatoes has gone wild and is now crowding out the native type, American cray fish are crowding out natives in certain areas (I say just eat 'em!), and so on so forth...

Welcome to Michigan (4, Funny)

retech (1228598) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513551)

Thank god something living is willing to move back into Michigan. There is hope to save this state!

Thanks for visiting! (1)

Gazzonyx (982402) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513695)

Nope. This is a business trip of sorts. It's just coming back to deliver the death blow; after that it's out quicker than a fat kid in dodge ball.

green fuel (4, Insightful)

confused one (671304) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513579)

Aren't we supposed to all be about green energy these days? Pay someone to collect it. Shred and compress it into fuel pellets. Burn it to make heat or electricity.

Energy crops for green fuel (4, Insightful)

captainpanic (1173915) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513657)

There are a number of hints that say that we're dealing with a great energy-crop:

1. It burns extremely hot (yay)
2. It grows fast (good)
3. It certainly won't require herbicides (meaning it's "biological").

We just need some biologists to turn this stuff into fuel (ethanol)... alternatively, it can be pelletized.

Re:green fuel (0, Flamebait)

BisexualPuppy (914772) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513869)

Burning grass is freeing CO2 right into the atmosphere. So that's not green, that's just oil-like, without the shortage. Worse than oil, IMHO.

Burns very hot (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29513593)

Why not use it as a fuel then?

Why Kill It (1)

red90tsi (1404931) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513635)

One man's grass is another mans treasure.

The amazing stuff about this is... (2, Funny)

zanderz (813270) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513683)

The amazing stuff about this is, that you can play 36 holes on it in the afternoon, take it home and just get stoned to the bejeezus-belt, that night, on this stuff.

To be sure. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29513711)

Nuke it from space, it's the only way to be sure.... it's only Alabama.

m$od down (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29513757)

Free-loving climate is dyin6 and its design approach. As

Schedule it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29513761)

Why not just make it a Schedule 1 offense to posses or grow it?

Smokable? (1)

realsilly (186931) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513807)

I would bet that if it was smokable in a manner that would get one high that there would be no problem keeping it under control. People would harvest it for the sheer delight of it. But then we'd have a million more grow farms all over the place. ..... mmmm, i'm hungry now....

Burns extremely hot? (1, Insightful)

IGnatius T Foobar (4328) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513831)

If it burns extremely hot, it's not a "weed" -- it's potentially "the perfect biofuel."

Really, what's the problem here? A sustainable biofuel crop that produces heat very efficiently, and grows rapidly? Isn't that exactly what the greendroids have been looking for all this time?

kudzu is mo' better (1)

stonewallred (1465497) | more than 5 years ago | (#29513953)

Kudzu would put this crap to shame. You can burn and spray and kudzu still comes back.
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