Paraquat for cotton
Cotton is a fibre which protects the seed of the cotton plant, much as the flesh of an apple protects the pips. In 1997, GM cotton tolerant to the non-selectiveBroad-spectrum herbicides, led by the introduction of paraquat in the 1960’s, have allowed the adoption and growth of soil cultivation systems which do not rely on controlling weeds by burial from plowing. Abandoning the mouldboard plow in reduced or no-till
DescriptionA chemical product used for eliminating all types of weeds (annual and perennial grasses and broadleaved weeds).
Authoritative On-line References and Resourceshttp://www.weeds.iastate.edu/ An invaluable source of contemporary information about herbicides and weeds from Iowa State University. herbicide glyphosate was introduced. Although herbicide tolerant cotton has many advantages, it has contributed to enormous increases in the use of glyphosate which is now posing problems by encouraging the development of resistant weeds which are no longer controlled by this herbicide. No more than two applications of glyphosate should be applied to any one field over two seasons. Paraquat can provide the alternative means of effective and sustainable weed control. Using paraquat in weed control programmes can also address a number of environmental issues concerned with cotton growing including soil erosion
DescriptionDisplacement 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 Resourceshttp://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. and degradation, water contamination by run-off
DescriptionThe occurrence of surplus liquid (like rain) which originates up-slope and is collected beyond the ability of the soil to absorb it. The surplus liquid then flows away over the surface to reach the nearest surface water (pond, lake, river).
Authoritative On-line References and ResourcesUS Geological Survey's Water Science School and leaching
DescriptionThe natural process by which water soluble substances are carried downward through the soil into groundwater. of agrochemicals, and loss of habitats and effects on biodiversity
DescriptionThe variety of life in all its forms, levels and combinations. Includes ecosystem diversity, species diversity, and genetic diversity (IUCN, UNEP and WWF, 1991).
Authoritative On-line References and Resourceshttp://earthtrends.wri.org/ EarthTrends is a comprehensive online database, maintained by the World Resources Institute, that focuses on environmental, social, and economic trends. Statistics on biodiversity indicators are available.. Paraquat is deactivated on contact with the soil meaning that it can be sprayed to burndown weeds before planting a cotton crop without risking damage to that crop or indeed subsequent crops in the rotation. It does not pollute soil or surface waters because it is immobilised and deactivated immediately on contact with soil. So, there are no leaching, persistence or root uptake problems to restrict its use, unlike many other herbicides which have ‘residual’ properties. Paraquat works well even in cold and rainy weather, unlike most herbicides, making it suitable for early season burndown.
Cotton fact file
- 31 million ha of cotton are grown worldwide
- 85 countries grow cotton
- 51% is grown on the Indian sub-continent
- 90% of US cotton is GM glyphosate tolerant
- 25 tonnes/ha of soil are eroded each year from the cotton fields of Alabama, USA