Science: Johnson Grass, Alas

Nature struck back again—this time at weed-killing 2,4-D. Last week the Department of Agriculture glumly admitted that Johnson grass is showing signs of making itself immune to 2,4-D.

Johnson grass, originally and recklessly introduced as a forage crop, is a pest in much of the South, especially in cane fields. Its perennial rootstocks can be clawed up through cultivation, but the pesky seeds keep blowing into cultivated fields from a distance.

In theory, 2,4-D is supposed to kill only broad-leaved plants, not grasses, but Department of Agriculture men at Houma, La. found that when the potent chemical was applied directly to the soil...

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