Herbicides and Pesticides have done more for our environment than most of us imagine. People have traveled from the time of Columbus. In the process of moving we have also moved weeds and pests from one habitat to another, without even realizing what we have done and changing our environment. Without the use of herbicides, tring to keep these pests under control would be impossible.
Herbicide Facts That Surprise Us
Chemicals for the control of pests in and around our home are in fact types of pesticides and they are not organic in nature. There are lots of herbicide facts that we don’t like facing up too. Organic herbicide, if broken down, is just another chemical herbicide. Example changing apples to apple cider vinegar, a form of acidic acid that we can call a organic herbicide. The truth is it will kill any plant it comes in contact with also if put on at to heavy a concentration it can cause soil sterilization. You could call it an organic roundup.
Herbicides that are engineered from different chemicals are not any more dangerous to use than some of the organic herbicides. Herbicide facts and studies indicate that all herbicides that qualify for weed control or pest control are tested in everyway concievable. They are tested for how they interact with the environmnt, water, soil, people, fish and animals and anything government can think of testing them for. They are even tested to see how they react to endangered species.
Read their labels and it will tell you all this plus be safe.
Herbicides and Our Environment
Left to nature and the movements of populations around the earth our environment and differing habitats would be in total danger without the use of herbicides and pesticides. Our earth would probably not be recognizable. We are in constant battle for balancing our ecosystem. Triing to prevent the spread of noxious weeds and pests, herbicides and pesticides play a big part in protecting our environment.
When a noxious weed begins taking over a habitat it may not be recognized, until it reaches the point it takes a major control program to get control. Once a noxious plant is identified it is almost impossible to eradicate, it becomes a yearly program to keep this weed from ruining a unique habitat.
How Herbicides Benefit Our Lives
Home owners benefit from weed free lawns and landscape areas that are free of weeds. In the lawn we treat for different kinds of weeds, narrow leaf anual grasses and broadleaf plants. All are treated differently, some with a broadleaf weed killer and some of the grasses with glyphosate (roundup). Glyphosate or organic weed killers will kill whatever plants they come in contact with, so in a lawn or around ornamentals you have to make sure you only spray the plants you want to be rid of.
Farmers benefit from herbicides because weeds take the moisture and nutrients from the soil that the crops use to grow. Also weeds reduce the sunlight that can reach the growing plants. Controling these weeds can take lots of money and herbicides, that without there use would cause the products we get at the food market go way up in price.
Water in canals, irrigation ditches, ponds and lakes can reach the point where the weeds need to be controlled. In ditches water is impeded to the point it can’t carry a full ditch of water for agriculture use, also slow moving water looses lots to evaporation. Lakes for recreation and fishing need weed control programs in some areas taking into consideration good plants for fish and waterfowl.
There are other areas that need to be completely weed free to help prevent fire hazards and other environmentally unsafe conditions.
Herbicides and Their Uses
Its important to know the different uses of herbicides and what they can acomplish.
A systemic herbicides acts through the whole plant, usually enteriing the leaves then spreading through the plant to the roots, where it kills the total plant. Sometimes if you don’t read the label and use the incorrect mix and not calibrate your equipment, you will put the herbicide on to concentrated, and only kill the leaves, without killing the plant. If a concentrate is to heavey it can also act as a ground sterilant and also kill the good plants that you don’t want to be rid of, leaving a bare spot that takes a lot longer to reseed itself and leave the soil open to more weeds.
Residual herbicides are usually restricted on who and how they are used. They usually stay active in the soil for a longer period of time.
A contact herbicide will kill plants where it makes contact. Good for anual type weeds.
A selective herbicide will either work on broadleaf or narrowleaf plants. Where a non-selective herbicide will work on all vegetation.
Post-emergent herbicides work on plants after they emerge from the soil. When weeds emerge they can be selectively treated without affecting other plants.
Pre-emergents are sprayed or incorporated into the soil before planting to stop unwanted weeds when they germinate. They can also be used in landscaping to keep a weed free area safely around your ornamentals. Other pre-emergents are used by gas companies, sub-stations, railroads and others to keep areas completely free of weeds. Helping to prevent fire hazards and keep working areas clean.
Other Herbicide Facts to Think About
Herbicides mode of action (site of action) is important to know to prevent herbicide resistant weeds. When treating these type of weeds it is not only important to change the mode of action but to make sure you are using a different type of active ingredient. When mixing two different herbicides it is important to check that you do not use the same mode of action. Read the label to determine a herbicides mode of action or call your county extension office.
Herbicide application timing is also very important. Check the weed species you are triing to control.
- Anuals: treat shortly after they germinate, when plants have not grown much.
- Bi-anuals: treat at rosette stage or shortly after bolting.
- Perennials: treat before flower stage or right at it before plant seeds. Best time is Fall when these plants are taking as many nutrients as possible to there root systems for the colder months.
Herbicides are Here to Stay
Herbicides help with the protection of the environment and the ecosystems if used responsibly. We all benefit from their use lawns, landscaping, maintaining parks and recreation areas, bussinesses and in more ways that we can think.
If you have comments or questions I would like to hear from you.