$45 an acre in the "good old days" before GM?? How many acres of corn and soybeans were you growing then Ananda?? Yeah, I remember those days. The days when you had about a 3 day window to get things sprayed, and you had to "heat up" your tank mix with stuff like Butyrac that burned both the weeds and the soybeans clear to the ground, sweating it out for two weeks hoping the soybeans would come out of getting "dinged" and the weeds wouldn't, and about half the time they did. The other half the weeds and soybeans both came out of the herbicide. Too bad, once the weed got over 4 inches tall, there wasn't much you could do. Of course, you always had the rotary hoe and cultivator. Like granddad said, if the soybeans were too small to hoe before lunch, they would be too big after lunch. So, you hooked up the row crop cultivator, we had 2 183 6 row IHC models with rolling fenders. Drop the fenders shift the tractor into the lowest gear, and spend day after day driving about 1 mile per hour so you wouldn't roll dirt over the top of the soybean. You could start out with some of our best pre emerge stuff, like Canopy or Authority, they would usually get 75% of the weeds at least, provided you got good weather.
In the "good old days" you're talking about, maybe you got 2 weeks of rain and didn't get the crop sprayed, ever try combining a solid mass of weeds? No problem if you wait until frost, let the whole mess freeze dry, maybe lose 25% or more of the soybean crop to shattering. That was 25% of a crop that was really half a crop, because you really can't raise a good crop in a mass of weeds.
Newsflash the anti GM crowd, we had resistant weeds before GM. I was dealing with waterhemp that was resistant to just about everything we had to throw at it when RR came out, and saved the day.
I am still trying to figure out how Monsanto is the bad guy in all of this. I realize I don't run in very wide circles, but I do know nearly everyone who farms in a 10 mile radius of my farm, and I know of not one single farmer who says Monsanto is making them use their products. Monsanto developed products that were tested according to the rules my government makes and evidently passed, they filled a need and have been enormously popular. I will be the very first to admit Monsanto did it to make money, isn't that what most businesses are all about? I will also admit things aren't as good as they use to be, and the writing on the wall indicates we are just about back to where we started with weed control. I got 10 years of absolutely amazing weed control, about 3 where it was a little more difficult. The party may be over, until the next really good new thing comes out, I believe next year.
Something tells me Ananda that you wouldn't be too much in favor of a Blazer/Basagran tank mix with a little Butyrac thrown in, maybe with a pre emerge of Treflan for soybeans, and conventional corn with Atrazine and Lexar, with Furadan to get the rootworms. Send over 50 Brits willing to hoe weeds all day for $25 an acre, and I will ditch Monsanto in a heartbeat. Remember, our weather is a bit more challenging in July than yours, figure on working all night if you want temps cooler than 75F.
My policy on seed and herbicide is if it is legal I am willing to try it.