Tuesday, 1 January 2008

Herbicide resistant crops popular

January 1, 2008
By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, Dec. 31: Crops that withstand herbicides and give higher yields are the in-thing now in Andhra Pradesh. Several farmers are now going in for crops which are genetically designed to withstand herbicides or pesticides that kill weeds. Whenever specially made pesticides to kill weeds are sprayed, the normal plants also wither away. But herbicide tolerant plants are not affected by pesticides.
According to official records, loss in crop yield due to weed infestation in the country in case of rice is 41.6 per cent, 16 per cent in case of wheat, 39.8 per cent for maize and 29.5 per cent in case of soyabean. As much as 47.5 per cent of cotton is lost due to weed.
Herbicide tolerant crops will save crop loss due to weeds up to 50 per cent while improving the yields. Even if 25 per cent of weeds in rice crop is controlled, the overall production will go up from 91.79 million tonnes to 101.4 million tonnes.
If 50 per cent weeds are controlled, production will touch 110.9 million tonnes. In case of cotton, if 50 per cent of the weed is controlled, the overall production will increase from 24.4 million tonnes to 30.2 million tonnes, Central government’s agricultural statistics point out. In the century, farmers exploited the selectivity of herbicides to control weeds within crop plants and ensure a better harvest.

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