Soil organisms as affected by glyphosate use
I often see how the farmers on the farm graciously spray the glyphosate solution on the field to eliminate the weeds. it is very effective o addressing the immediate concerns of the farmers at low costs, hence it rises to its popularity and patronage. And it always enchanted me how these chemicals affect the non-target soil organisms? I’m pretty sure that since it could kill the weeds, it probably could harm the organisms in the soil. Just how much do we really know about the ecological safety of glyphosate?
There is a growing awareness of the non-target effects of glyphosate. The improvement of detection technology of glyphosate in the soil and water has led to undesirable observations that there is an unexpected persistence of glyphosate in soil and groundwater. The maximum acute exposure range for aquatic and soil organisms considered that either zero or 50% of RU was intercepted by target vegetation. However, once applied on the bare ground it is equivalent to the 0% interception. The maximum chronic exposure range for aquatic and soil organisms is considered interception (0% or 50%), but also a range of dissipation rates for glyphosate and the surfactant.
Glyphosate is generally regarded with low environmental impact, low mammalian toxicity, being water-soluble it has a low risk of bioaccumulation in food webs. Once glyphosate reached the soil the compound is rapidly degraded by soil microorganisms. However, there are growing concerns that glyphosate interactions with plant nutrition and the effect on soil microbial communities leads to the increase in plant pathogens and the emergence of glyphosate-resistant weeds. The farmer's initial solution to this problem would be to increase the concentration of glyphosate to eliminate the arising concerns. Applying more might solve the problem at the moment, but it might lead to a long-term irreversible soil condition. But a sugar-coated solution will only exacerbate the problem if left unattended.
Up to date, the impact of glyphosate on soil micro-organisms has provided contrasting results. Some do not have found any threat from glyphosate, and others have found some concerns. Concerns such as impacts on the diversity, structure, and function of soil communities are vital for soil health, especially under regular application of glyphosate.
Glyphosate is always thought to be safe for the environment because it is absorbed quickly onto soil particles. It is then degraded by soil micro-organisms such as bacteria and fungi that consume glyphosate.
It has a negative effect on the earthworm's reproduction, movement, or activity of different species. There is also an increasing number of reports that continued glyphosate use has increased the severity and re-emergence of crop disease, and frequency of soil-borne pathogens. This reduces the ability of the crop to defend itself against these problems. This scenario could be brought about by the change in the balance of the soil communities and the function it performs for the ecosystem.
Hence glyphosate use could be killing us softly. I am afraid that we might wake up one day and lost the life of the very soil that fed the world. It is therefore very important to learn and keep track of the impacts of these chemicals in the soil. It, therefore, calls for more intensive research. we must treat the soil like a living being, that if it is used so extremely it can lost its life.