One of the biggest hurdles farmers have faced in recent years is the sticky problem of how to kill weeds organically. As conventional farmers fall under increasing pressure to use fewer toxic chemicals, they have begun to search for less pernicious methods of eliminating weeds, according to NPR.com. One answer is microbe-produced pesticides, known as biopesticides.
These microbes, which have long been popular among organic farmers, are being used more and more often by the big companies. Some call these microbes "probiotics for crops," and there are even microbes that give crops a boost while safely killing weeds. For example, the monolithic chemical company Dupont has begun testing a new microbe to see if it boosts corn yields. Other big companies like Monsanto and Bayer are running similar tests.