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Herbicide

Herbicide

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01/11/2012

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Herbicide
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Weeds killed with herbicide
 An
herbicide
is a substance used to kill unwantedplants. Selective herbicides kill specific targetswhile leaving the desiredcroprelatively unharmed. Some of these act by interfering with the growth of theweedand are often synthetic "imitations" of planthormones. Herbicides used to clear waste ground, industrial sites, railways and railway embankments are non-selective and kill allplantmaterialwith which they come into contact. Smaller quantities are used in forestry, pasture systems, andmanagement of areas set aside as wildlifehabitat.Some plants produce natural herbicides, such as the genus
Juglans
(walnuts), or thetree of heaven; the study of such natural herbicides, and other related chemical interactions, is calledallelopathy.Herbicides are widely used inagricultureand in landscape turf management. In the U.S., theyaccount for about 70% of all agricultural pesticide use.
[1]
 
 
Contents
[hide]
 
1
History 
2
Health and environmental effects 
o
 
2.1
Ecological effects 
o
 
2.2
Scientific uncertainty 
3
Resistance 
4
Classification of herbicides 
5
Organic herbicides 
6
Application 
7
Terminology 
8
Major herbicides in use today 
9
Herbicides of historical interest 
10
See also 
 
 
11
References 
12
Further reading 
1
3
External links 
[edit]
History
This section
d
oes notciteanyreferences or sources
.
 
Please helpimprove this articleby adding citations toreliable sources
.
Unsourced material may
 
 bechallengedandremoved
.
 
(July 2007)
 
P
rior to the widespread use of chemical herbicides,cultural controls, such as altering soil pH, salinity,or fertility levels, were used to control weeds. Mechanical control (including tillage) was also (and stillis) used to control weeds.The first widely used herbicide was2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, often abbreviated 2,4-D. It wasfirst commercialized by the Sherwin-Williams
P
aint company and saw use in the late 1940s. It is easyand inexpensive to manufacture, and kills many broadleaf plants while leaving grasseslargelyunaffected (although high doses of 2,4-D at crucial growth periods can harm grass crops such asmaize or cereals). The low cost of 2,4-D has led to continued usage today and it remains one of themost commonly used herbicides in the world. Like other acid herbicides, current formulations utilizeeither an amine salt (usuallytrimethylamine) or one of manyestersof the parent compound. These are easier to handle than the acid.2,4-D exhibits relatively good
selectivity 
, meaning, in this case, that it controls a wide number of broadleaf weeds while causing little to no injury to grass crops at normal use rates. Aherbicide istermed selective if it affects only certain types of plants, and nonselective if it inhibits a very broadrange of plant types. Other herbicides have been more recently developed that achieve higher levelsof selectivity than 2,4-D.The 1950s saw the introduction of the triazine family of herbicides, which includesatrazine, whichhave current distinction of being the herbicide family of greatest concern regarding groundwater contamination. Atrazine does not break down readily (within a few weeks) after being applied to soilsof above neutralpH. Under alkaline soil conditions atrazine may be carried into the soil profile as far as the water table by soil water following rainfall causing the aforementioned contamination. Atrazineis thus said to have
carryover,
a generally undesirable property for herbicides.Glyphosate, frequently sold under the brand nameRoundup, was introduced in 1974 for non-selective weed control. It is now a major herbicide in selective weed control in growing crop plants due to thedevelopment of crop plants that are resistant to it. The pairing of the herbicide with the resistant seedcontributed to the consolidation of the seed and chemistry industry in the late 1990s.Many modern chemical herbicides for agriculture are specifically formulated to decompose within ashort period after application. This is desirable as it allows crops which may be affected by the
 
herb
i
  
i
¡  
e
t
¢  
 
be
 
£  
rown
 
on
t
he
l
¤  
nd
i
n
¥  
t
¥  
re
 
¦  
easons
.
§  
owever 
,
herb
i
  
i
des
 
w
it
h
l
ow
 
res
i
dua
l
ac
ti
v
it
¨  
 
© 
i.
e
., t
ha
t
decompose
 
  
u
i
ck
l
¨ 
 
o
ft
en
 
do
 
no
t
prov
i
de
 
season-
l
ong
 
weed
 
con
t
ro
l.[
ed
it]
ea
lt
h
 
and
 
env
i
ronmen
t
a
l
e
ff 
ec
t
s
 
Ma
  
 
ar 
ti 
  
  
:
    
ronmen
a
effec 
  
 
of 
p
es
ti 
id 
es
 
§  
erb
i
c
i
des
 
have
 
w
i
de
l
¨  
 
var 
i
ab
l
e
 t
ox
i
c
it
¨  
. I
n
 
add
iti
on
t
o
 
acu
t
e
t
ox
i
c
it
¨  
rom
 
h
i
gh
 
exposures
t
here
i
s
 
concern
 
o
poss
i
b
l
e
 
carc
i
nogen
i
c
it
¨  
 
[
 
]
 
as
 
we
ll
as
 
o
t
her 
l
ong-
t
erm
 
prob
l
ems
 
such
 
as
 
con
t
i
bu
ti
ng
 t
o
 
Park
i
nson's
 
  
i
sease
.S
ome
 
herb
i
c
i
des
 
cause
 
a
 
range
 
o
hea
lt
h
 
e
ff 
ec
t
s
 
rang
i
ng
rom
 
sk
i
n
 
rashes
t
o
 
dea
t
h
[
it 
a
ti 
on
 
nee
e
]
.
  
he
 
pa
t
hway
 
o
a
tt
ack
 
can
 
ar 
i
se
rom
i
n
t
en
ti
ona
l
or 
 
un
i
n
t
en
ti
ona
l
d
i
rec
t
consump
ti
on
, i
mproper 
 
app
li
ca
ti
on
 
resu
lti
ng
i
n
t
he
 
herb
i
c
i
de
 
com
i
ng
i
n
t
o
 
d
i
rec
t
con
t
ac
t
w
it
h
 
peop
l
e
 
or 
 
w
il
d
lif 
e
, i
nha
l
a
ti
on
 
o
aer 
i
a
l
sprays
,
or 
ood
 
consump
ti
on
 
pr 
i
or 
t
o
t
he
l
abe
l
ed
 
pre-harves
t i
n
t
erva
l.
  
nder 
 
ex
t
reme
 
cond
iti
ons
 
herb
i
c
i
des
 
can
 
a
l
so
 
be
t
ranspor 
t
ed
 
v
i
a
 
sur 
ace
 
runo
ff t
o
 
con
t
am
i
na
t
e
 
d
i
s
t
an
t
wa
t
er 
 
sources
.
!   
os
t
herb
i
c
i
des
 
decompose
 
rap
i
d
l
y
i
n
 
so
il
s
 
v
i
a
 
so
il
m
i
crob
i
a
l
decompos
iti
on
,
hydro
l
ys
i
s
,
or 
 
pho
t
o
l
ys
i
s
. S
ome
 
herb
i
c
i
des
 
are
 
more
 
pers
i
s
t
en
t
w
it
h
l
onger 
 
so
il
ha
lf 
-
li
ves
[
it 
a
ti 
on
 
nee
e
]
.
"  
t
her 
 
a
ll
eged
 
hea
lt
h
 
e
ff 
ec
t
s
 i
nc
l
ude
 
ches
t
pa
i
n
,
headaches
,
nausea
,
and
a
ti
gue
.
Phenoxy
 
herb
i
c
i
des
 
are
 
o
ft
en
 
con
t
am
i
na
t
ed
 
w
it
h
 
d
i
ox
i
ns
 
such
 
as
 
  
C
  
;
research
 
sugges
t
ed
t
ha
t
such
 
con
t
am
i
na
ti
on
 
resu
lt
s
i
n
 
a
 
sma
ll
i
se
i
n
 
cancer 
 
i
sk
 
a
ft
er 
 
exposure
t
o
t
hese
 
herb
i
c
i
des
.
[3]
 
  
i
az
i
ne
 
exposure
 
has
 
been
i
mp
li
ca
t
ed
i
n
 
a
li
ke
l
y
 
re
l
a
ti
onsh
i
p
t
o
i
ncreased
 
i
sk
 
o
breas
t
cancer 
,
a
lt
hough
 
a
 
causa
l 
re
l
a
ti
onsh
i
p
 
rema
i
ns
 
unc
l
ear 
.
[
]
 
§  
erb
i
c
i
de
 
manu
ac
t
urers
 
have
 
made
 
bo
l
d
 
and
a
l
se
 
or 
 
m
i
s
l
ead
i
ng
 
c
l
a
i
ms
 
abou
t t
he
 
sa
e
t
y
 
o
f t
he
i
 
produc
t
s
. C
hem
i
ca
l
manu
ac
t
urer 
 
!   
onsan
t
o
C
ompany
 
agreed
t
o
 
change
it
s
 
adver 
ti
s
i
ng
 
a
ft
er 
 
pressure
 
rom
 N
ew
Y
ork
 
a
tt
orney
 
genera
l 
  
 
enn
i
s
V
acco
; V
acco
 
comp
l
a
i
ned
 
abou
t
m
i
s
l
ead
i
ng
 
c
l
a
i
ms
t
ha
t it
s
 
spray-on
 
g
l
yphosa
t
e
 
based
 
herb
i
c
i
des
, i
nc
l
ud
i
ng
 
$  
oundup
,
were
 
sa
er 
t
han
t
ab
l
e
 
sa
lt
and
 
prac
ti
ca
ll
y
 
non-
t
ox
i
c"
t
o
 
mamma
l
s
,
b
i
rds
,
and
fi
sh
.
[
]
 
$  
oundup
i
s
t
ox
i
c
 
and
 
has
 
resu
lt
ed
i
n
 
dea
t
h
 
a
ft
er 
 
be
i
ng
 i
nges
t
ed
i
n
 
  
uan
titi
es
 
rang
i
ng
rom
8
'  
-200
 
m
l,
a
lt
hough
it
has
 
a
l
so
 
been
i
nges
t
ed
i
n
 
  
uan
titi
es
 
as
 l
arge
 
as
 
'  
00m
l
w
it
h
 
on
l
y
 
m
il
d
 
or 
 
modera
t
e
 
symp
t
oms
.
[6]
 
  
he
 
man
uc
t
urer 
 
o
  
ordon
 
01
 
©   
ow
  A
gro
S
c
i
ences
,
owned
 
by
t
he
 
  
 
ow
C
hem
i
ca
l C
ompany)
 
has
 
c
l
a
i
med
t
ha
t
  
ordon
 
101
 
has
 
no
 
e
ff 
ec
t
s
 
on
 
an
i
ma
l
s
 
and
i
nsec
t
s
[
]
, i
n
 
sp
it
e
 
o
ev
i
dence
 
o
s
t
rong
 
carc
i
nogen
i
c
 
ac
ti
v
it
y
 
o
f t
he
 
ac
ti
ve
 i
ngred
i
en
t
[8]
 
P
i
c
l
oram
i
n
 
s
t
ud
i
es
 
on
 
ra
t
s
.
[
]
 
  
he
 
i
sk
 
o
Park
i
nson's
 
  
i
sease
 
has
 
been
 
shown
t
o
i
ncrease
 
w
it
h
 
occupa
ti
ona
l
exposure
t
o
 
herb
i
c
i
des
 
and
 
pes
ti
c
i
des
.
[
10
]
 
  
he
 
herb
i
c
i
de
 
paraqua
ti
s
 
suspec
t
ed
t
o
 
be
 
one
 
env
i
ronmen
t
a
l f 
ac
t
or 
 
caus
i
ng
 
Park
i
nson's
 
d
i
sease
.
[
11
]
  All
organ
i
c
 
and
 
non-organ
i
c
 
herb
i
c
i
des
 
mus
t
be
 
ex
t
ens
i
ve
l
y
t
es
t
ed
 
pr 
i
or 
t
o
 
approva
l f 
or 
 
commerc
i
a
l
sa
l
e
 
and
l
abe
li
ng
 
by
t
he
E
nv
i
ronmen
t
a
l
Pro
t
ec
ti
on
A
gency
.
§  
owever 
,
because
 
o
f t
he
l
arge
 
number 
 
o
herb
i
c
i
des
i
n
 
use
, t
here
i
s
 
s
i
gn
ifi
can
t
concern
 
regard
i
ng
 
hea
lt
h
 
e
ff 
ec
t
s
. S
ome
 
o
f t
he
 
herb
i
c
i
des
i
n
 
use
 
are
 
known
t
o
 
be
 
mu
t
agen
i
c
,
carc
i
nogen
i
c
 
or 
 t
era
t
ogen
i
c
[
it 
a
ti 
on
 
nee
e
 
]
.

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