3E: Timelines and Trends

Herbicide Timelines

Herbicide resistant crops are engineered to allow herbicide application over the top of growing fields like this corn.

The widespread adoption of GE, herbicide-resistant crops and the spread of glyphosate-resistant weeds in the Midwest is triggering greater use of three herbicides — glyphosate, 2,4-D, and dicamba. These are the herbicides most likely to increase the risk of adverse birth outcomes, and to be “in the news.”

For this reason, we expect many people to want to dig deeper, to learn the history of these herbicides and how they have come to be so important to Midwestern, conventional corn and soybean farmers.

And indeed, each has a rich and very long history. For this reason, we are developing timelines recounting key milestones in the discovery and commercialization, regulation, use, and human health and environmental impacts of glyphosate, 2,4-D, and dicamba — the three herbicides most closely associated with next generation, GE crops.

Timelines will be posted as completed, beginning with “The Lowdown on Roundup.”  Remember to sign up for the Healthy Kids program newsletter and we will let you know as new timelines are posted.

Available Formats

First off, if you are new to Prezi, the web-based interactive presentation platform that we used to create these timelines, no worries!  We have put together a Timeline User Guide to help you learn the ropes.  And, we have made each timeline available in several formats:

1. Online Prezi, for viewing/presenting with internet connection, you control the timing of advance to next slide. No narration. Internet connection needed.

2. Portable Prezi file, no narration. Once downloaded (Windows and Mac versions available, no Prezi account required), presentation will be resident on your computer, so no internet connection needed to view or present. Large compressed files, email to request access.

3. Vimeo video of Prezi, slides advance automatically, no narration. View online or download for offline viewing.  Shorter version for viewing or longer for use as presentation tool.

4. Content of all slides, hard copy, no narration. This version is for offline viewing and study. Can be used as an aid when presenting the Prezi.

5. [To come] Video of Prezi, with voice narration.

6. [To come] Content of all slides, plus voice narration. Version for offline viewing. Can be used as a presentation aid.

For more information about how to use and share the Herbicide Timelines, please see this User Guide.


The Lowdown on Roundup

Part I: Discovery and Commercialization 1950-2000

Part II: Regulatory Milestones 1970-2000

Part III: Glyphosate Use

Part IV: Environment and Human Health Impacts

Lowdown on Roundup Project References

Part I: Discovery and Commercialization 1950-2000

See the section above for more information about the different formats available.

1. Online Prezi, File format: Prezi file, Typical view time: 6-8 minutes.

2. Portable Prezi, File format: Prezi file, Size: 14 MB (zipped), Typical view time: 5 minutes, Email to request

3. Vimeo video of Prezi, File format: MP4 file, Size: 157 MB, Run time: 4 minutes.

4. Content of all slides, hard copy, no narration, File format: PDF, Size: 2 MB, 9 pages.

5. [To come] Video of Prezi, with voice narration, File format: MP4, X MB, Run time: Y minutes.

6. [To come] Content of all slides, plus voice narration, File format: PDF, Size: X MB, Y pages.

Part II: Regulatory Milestones 1970-2000

See the section above for more information about the different formats available.

1. Online Prezi,File format: Prezi file, Typical view time: 10-12 minutes.

2. Portable Prezi file, File format: Prezi file, Size: 19 MB (zipped), Typical view time: 10 minutes, Email to request

3. Vimeo video of Prezi, File format: MP4 file, Size: 326 MB. Run time: 10 minutes.

4. Content of all slides, without narration text,File format: PDF, Size: 3.5 MB, 16 pages.

5. [To come] Video of Prezi, with voice narration, File format: MP4, X MB, Run time: Y minutes.

6. [To come] Content of all slides, plus voice narration, File format: PDF, Size: X MB, Y pages.

Part III: Glyphosate Use 1970-2010

See the section above for more information about the different formats available.

Click here for the Part III Regulatory Highlights document with additional references for key glyphosate milestones.

1. Online Prezi, File format: Prezi file, Typical view time: 6-8 minutes.

2. Portable Prezi file, File format: Prezi file, Size: 19 MB (zipped), Typical view time: 6-8 minutes, Email to request

3. Vimeo video of Prezi, File format: MP4 file, Size: 220 MB, Run time: 4 minutes.

4. Content of all slides, without narration text, File format: PDF, Size: 3 MB, 11 pages.

5. [To come] Video of Prezi, with voice narration, File format: MP4, X MB, Run time: Y minutes.

6. [To come] Content of all slides, plus voice narration, File format: PDF, Size: X MB, Y pages.


Herbicide Use Trends

Existing herbicide use databases also can provide a comprehensive, qualitative look at herbicide use over time.  A remarkably detailed picture can be painted of trends in corn and soybean herbicide use nationally and in key states by tracking changes over the last several decades in the herbicide use metrics described on the previous pages.

Access below hard copies of a series of trend tables covering corn and soybean herbicide use.

NOTE: Data for all years is not available for all states and thus the timeline available in each table may vary.


Table 3E.1: Herbicide Use on Corn 1971-2015: Number AI’s per Acre, Average Pounds Applied per Acre, Acre-Treatments per Acre, and Pounds Applied

National, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio, Wisconsin


Table 3E.2: Herbicide Use on Soybeans 1971-2015: Number AI’s per Acre, Average Pounds Applied per Acre, Acre-Treatments per Acre, and Pounds Applied Use on Soybeans

National, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio, Wisconsin


Impact of High- and Low-Dose Chemistry

Table 3E.3: Herbicide Use on Corn 1971-2015: Number Low-Dose Chemistry, Reliance on Low-Dose Chemistry, Number High-Dose Chemistry, Reliance on High-Dose Chemistry

National, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio, Wisconsin


Table 3E.4: Herbicide Use on Soybeans 1971-2015: Number Low-Dose Chemistry, Reliance on Low-Dose Chemistry, Number High-Dose Chemistry, Reliance on High-Dose Chemistry Use on Soybeans

 National, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio, Wisconsin

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