In the Philippines, more successful results from a project using paraquat to control weeds and prevent soil erosion have been announced. Since 2005, researchers from several universities and other organisations have been collaborating to study approaches to reducing the serious threat posed by soil erosion to food production and the environment.
Professor Gil Magsino from the University of the Philippines presented the results and conclusions from the Sagip-Lupa project’s 4th Annual Report at the University of Benguet recently.
Prof. Magsino noted that an annual loss of 2 – 4 cm of topsoil from fields in the Philippines has become commonplace, but with the imperative of achieving sufficient levels of food production this cannot be sustained.
Benefits of paraquat-based agronomy
Less soil lost
Lower input costs
Plants and soil organic matter are key to reducing soil erosion. Living or dead mulches of plants covering the soil resist the impact of rain, and roots and organic matter bind soil particles together. Traditional methods of weed control such as hand hoeing and plowing remove unwanted plant material, ie weeds, and disturb the soil, encouraging erosion.
However, using an agronomy system based on paraquat means that weeds are only removed when necessary to protect yields.