Did you miss the news about paraquat?

News and features about paraquat illustrating its multitude of uses and the benefits it brings to farmers around the world are regularly posted on the Paraquat Information Center website. Here are the highlights from some popular recent articles.

Paraquat system saves soil in the Philippines

In the Philippines, more successful results from a project using paraquat to control weeds and prevent soil erosion

Description

Displacement of solids (soil, mud, rock and other particles) usually by the agents of currents such as, wind, water, or ice by downward or down-slope movement.

Authoritative On-line References and Resources

http://soilerosion.net/ This site brings together reliable information on soil erosion from a wide range of disciplines and sources. It aims to be the definitive internet source for those wishing to find out more about soil loss and soil conservation.
have been announced. 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. Even then roots remain intact to anchor the soil. Weeds do not need to be buried by plowing and dead weeds increase soil organic matter which is not then lost by plowing.
Farmers’ traditional methods of hand or mechanical weed control are being compared to using paraquat and no-till

Description

Also known as conservation tillage or zero tillage is a way of growing crops from year to year without disturbing the soil through tillage ie cultivating the soil usually with tractor-drawn implements.

Authoritative On-line References and Resources

No-till.com:  A portal for on-line information about no-till farming.
. Typically, a system based on plowing followed by two harrowings, then further operations like hoeing and hand weeding are replaced by a ‘Bilis Saka’ application of paraquat before sowing and later a ‘Bilis Linis’ application sprayed on weeds growing between the crop rows.
The large savings of precious topsoil from using paraquat and no-till are all statistically significant. Crop yields have also benefited. Read more ...

Paraquat promotes soil health in new corn cropping system

In the near future, the food versus fuel dilemma will be addressed by using ‘waste’ crop residues instead of grain as the feedstock for bioethanol

Description

Bioethanol is ethanol of biological origin. Crops containing sugar or starch grown for energy use include sugar beet, sugar cane, maize and wheat. "2nd generation" bioethanol will be made from cellulose from, e.g. waste straw and stover, willow and popular trees, sawdust, reed canary grass, switchgrass, Miscanthus.

Authoritative On-line References and Resources

http://www.eere.energy.gov/afdc/fuels/ethanol.html The US Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy has am Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicles Data Center containing key information on all biofuels.
. However, the concern is that removal of stover and chaff normally returned to the soil will cause serious erosion and fertility problems.
Iowa State University has conducted a three-year project that has demonstrated how carefully managed perennial cover crops

Description

Cover crops are primarily planted not to be harvested for food but to reduce soil erosion, control weeds and improve soil quality. They are usually plowed or tilled under before the next food crop is planted, in which cases the "cover crop" is used as a soil amendment and is synonymous with "green manure crop."

Authoritative On-line References and Resources

http://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/covercrop.html ATTRA is the US National Centre for Appropriate Technology's Sustainable Agriculture Information Centre.
can more than substitute for the biomass

Description

Mass of organic matter of non-fossil biological origin which can be exploited for energy purposes.

Authoritative On-line References and Resources

http://www1.eere.energy.gov/biomass The US Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy has a Biomass Program working with industry, academia and US National Laboratories on research into biomass feedstocks and conversion technologies. The goal is cost competitive, high performance biofuels, bioproducts, and biopower.
harvested for ethanol production. The key to success is the use of paraquat and its fast, contact-only action.
In spring, paraquat is sprayed before the newly sown corn crop emerges, quickly desiccating the Kentucky bluegrass. This then slowly regrows beneath the corn canopy ready to protect the soil again after harvest through to spring.  So long as the cover crop is supressed by paraquat before it starts to compete with the corn crop, then the research at Iowa State shows that high grain yields of 200 bushels per acre (12.6 tonnes/ha) are still possible. Read more ...

Paraquat provides options to control volunteers

Volunteer plants – those that grow from seed shed by the previous crop – are weeds that bring the same problems as wild ones, or worse. They can be difficult to control, especially if they are growing in a new crop of the same species. However, paraquat provides a good option. Paraquat’s great advantages are that it is the fastest acting herbicide and it is deactivated immediately on contact with soil so a new crop can be planted straightaway. For best effects on corn, a PSII inhibitor herbicide such as atrazine, diuron or metribuzin should be added to paraquat. Like paraquat, these herbicides also have a mode of action involving photosynthesis, but a different and complementary one. The paraquat-based mixtures not only have the fast-action advantage expected of paraquat, but the degree of control is more thorough over time. Read more ...