Bayer AG, who acquired Monsanto, maker of Roundup herbicide (glyphosate), has announced that it will discontinue offering glyphosate in the residential lawn and garden market beginning in 2023. Glyphosate will continue to be sold in the agricultural market as well as for golf course use, municipal or private parks and grounds, and other specialty applications, such as algae control in ponds.
The move by Bayer is not dictated by the EPA, which continues to support its use, but reflects an internal decision by Bayer to limit legal exposure after a litany of lawsuits, primarily from homeowners.
It should be noted that patent protection on glyphosate expired in 2000 and a number of other companies market residential-use lawn and garden herbicides containing glyphosate. According to the National Pesticide Information Center, there are over 750 products containing glyphosate for sale in the United States.
Bayer intends to continue marketing the Roundup brand for lawn and garden use in 2023, but with different active ingredients that do not include glyphosate.
What does this mean for prairie restoration projects and other plantings involving native seeds?
Basically, nothing changes. Homeowners and others who are planning small-scale seeding projects can continue to use glyphosate marketed by companies other than Bayer, or can try Bayer’s new formulation of Roundup without glyphosate when it becomes available.
Larger scale seeding projects that are not residential in nature can continue to utilize glyphosate products as before, including Bayer’s original Roundup. These would include restoration projects such as agricultural land set-aside projects, mine-reclamation projects, public lands plantings, golf courses, parks, highway roadsides, etc.
For more information on site preparation and planting native grasses and wildflowers, see our Planting Guide. Also check out these videos on site preparation before and after planting a prairie restoration project in Oklahoma.