Agriculture and Farming Technology Updates

Weed control with natural products is very useful

Be sure to consult an agricultural expert before choosing organic weed killers.


Weeds are such unwanted and forcibly growing plants, which have the ability to grow rapidly in fields and other places without sowing. Weeds have been considered a very serious problem in agriculture because by growing in the fields of productive crops, they suck the nutrients of the soil around them so badly that the development of economically beneficial main crop plants gets inhibited. As a result, the productivity of the farm and the quality of the produce are seriously affected. That is why weeds are considered enemies of agriculture and farmers. In this article, you will learn how to control weeds in organic farming.

 weed control
Image Credit: ICAR

Obviously, controlling the weeds properly and at the right time increases the agricultural production as it gives full opportunity to the main crop to grow properly. But unfortunately, in the last five decades, there has been an increase in the rampant use of chemical fertilizers and toxic weed killers to increase the yield of agriculture. Due to this, on the one hand, the proportion of toxic polluting chemicals in the environment increased a lot, on the other hand, there was a huge decline in the fertile capacity of the soil of the fields. Its negative effect has been coming in the form of deterioration in the quality of fruits, vegetables and grains.


Side effects of chemical weed killers

Chemical weed killers and pesticides have contaminated every part of our environment. Due to this, along with soil, air, water, surface and ground water, crop plants, animals, fish, other aquatic animals, birds, wildlife and beneficial microorganisms and insects etc. are also harmed. All these elements are involved in human food in one way or the other, that is why side effects of pesticides have been clearly seen on human health. Exposure to the toxic chemicals of pesticides can cause respiratory tract irritation, sore throat and cough, various allergic reactions, and eye and skin irritation in humans.

Due to the ever-increasing use of chemical pesticides, where there was an increase in the number of victims of many deadly diseases like cancer, the tendency of fields to become barren also increased. That is why there is a great need to increase the awareness among the farmers about the methods of biological eradication of weeds. On the other hand, the pressure on agricultural scientists also increased to find out such biological methods of dealing with weeds or organic herbicides, which could practically solve the whole problem.

Benefits from natural or organic herbicides 

Using organic products instead of chemical weed killers is environment friendly. They get decomposed quickly in the atmosphere and soil and they do not enter the ground water as well. The biggest advantage of using organic herbicides is that they not only destroy unwanted weeds, but their use does not cause any harm to the crop being grown. However, there are very limited quantities of organic weed killers currently commercially available in the market.

Such a situation is challenging for both farmers and agricultural scientists. That’s why it is very important for farmers to consult agricultural experts or their nearest Krishi Vikas Kendra before selecting organic weed killers. The purpose of research for each form of organic farming is definitely to develop such organic weed killers or organic herbicides, so that farming using natural products can be restored as mainstream.

The use of natural products in place of chemical weed killers is a very attractive and promising alternative solution for weed control. In the present times, as the attraction towards organic farming is increasing, similarly the trend of using products with properties of natural herbicides in agriculture is also increasing. From this point of view, currently the available options for weed control with natural products are as follows.

1. Soluble Dry Aswak Grain (Dry Distillers Grain)

It is a by-product of ethanol. It is mainly used in organic production of fodder crops. ‘Dry distiller’s grain’ contains 4.4 per cent nitrogen, 0.16 per cent phosphorus, 0.79 per cent potash and 0.5 per cent sulphur. Due to the abundance of nitrogen, its use plays the role of fertilizer for weed control as well as horticulture crops.

2. Glucosinolates

Plants like radish, turnip, cabbage, cauliflower, mustard belong to the genus Brassicaceae which contain allopathic compounds called glucosinolates. There are 350 types of genera and 2500 species of plants in this species. Its plants are found everywhere. The breakdown of glucosinolates results in the formation of the myrosinase enzyme. This produces toxic substances such as thiocyanate and isothiocyanate which have proved useful in destroying weeds. 

3. Weed control with plant extracts 

Extracts made from various parts of some plants such as stems, roots and seeds also have the potential to act as natural herbicides. Some plants also help inhibit the germination and growth of weeds by secreting phyto-toxic allochemicals. The weed killers controlled by plant extracts are as follows:

  • Extracts of Lettuce (Lettuce satiba), Xanthium occidentale and Japanese thistle (Chrysium japonicum) help in inhibiting the growth of roots of Rizka.
  • Aqueous extract of fresh leaves of Mahaneem (Eliandhus altissima) is helpful in inhibiting the growth of roots of Rizka.
  • Mixing Chinese Arabic (Aloe cassia casculata), Kaner (Nerim oleander), black lotus vine (Passiflora incarnate) and Japanese pagoda tree (Sophor japonica) by making powder and spraying at the rate of 5 tons per hectare in paddy cultivation 60-70 Weed control can be done up to 100%.
  • Spraying of castor (Ricinus communis), tobacco (Nicotiana tobacum), datura (Dhatura inoxia), sorghum (Sorghum vulgare) aqueous extract solution at 10 g per liter is helpful in inhibiting the seed germination of Hirankhuri weed.
weed control
Image Credit: ICAR

4. Weed control with essential oil

The essential oils obtained from some plants are also found to exhibit phytotoxicity towards fatty weeds. That’s why they prove to be a good natural alternative to synthetic herbicides:

  • Essential oils of oregano, basil, maruva (Origanum majorana), lemon and basil (Ocimum citriodorum) are used for the control of amaranth (Amaranthus sp.).
  • Essential oils obtained from Lasan cypress (Lasan cypress), rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), white cedar (Thuja occidentalis) and eucalyptus can also be used as weed killers. This can control unwanted plants like Amlan Kulfa and Knapweed.
  • The use of essential oil obtained from eucalyptus (Eucalyptus citriodora) proves effective in the control of weeds such as congress grass (Parthenium heterophorus), canary grass (Phalaris minor), chickweed (Agrantu cuenzoides), labsquarters, amaranth (Amaranthus sp.).
  • Essential oils from red oregano, summer herb, cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum), clove exhibit potent phytotoxicity against weeds such as Bathua, Ragweed, Johnson grass.
Weed control
Image Credit: ICAR

5. Weed control with microorganisms

At present, we have many such microorganisms available, which can be used for weed control in high-value crops: such as fungal parasites, soil-borne fungal pathogens, bacteria, nematodes, etc.

  • The rust fungus (Puccinia canalicuta) is a foliar pathogen and is useful in the control of yellow walnut (Cypress esculetus).
  • The soil-borne fungus Trichoderma virens is used in crops to reduce the emergence and growth of wild spinach.
  • The use of Alternaria conjuncta and Fusarium tricinctum is helpful in the control of Amarbel. Some bacteria of the genus Pseudomonas show herbicidal activity against annual weeds (Artagal. Wild sunflower).

जैविक खेती में खरपतवार नियंत्रण weed control in farming

Weed Control with Corn Gluten

Corn gluten is a protein component derived from the wet milling process of corn kernels. Controls weeds such as lambsquarter (Chenopodium album), curly dock weed (Rumex cypress), purslane (Portulaca oleracea), small macoy (Solanum nigrum), creeping bentgrass (Agrostis pleustris) and red root pigweed bathua (Amaranthus retroflexus) can go. 50 to 80 percent weed control can be achieved by spraying 100 to 400 grams of Corn Gluten Meal (CGM) per hectare in the field before planting the crop. It is capable of suppressing the root development of weeds at the time of germination and does not affect the main crop.

Also Read: Fish farming : Jayanti Rohu and Amur carp are improved species of fish helping Indrasakhi Devi earn a profit of Rs 5 lakh

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