Past, Present and Future Status of Herbicides use in Weed Control in India
Very little attention was given during the past due to wan of skilful knowledge and proper techniques for various crop combinations. Ample labour forces were available for controlling weeds by mechanical method. The growth of industries was also limited and labourers were cheap. Therefore, manual and mechanical methods were used on large scale for control of weeds.
The earlier attempt in India to control weeds by herbicides was made in 1937 Punjab for controlling Carthamus oxycantha by using sodium arsenite. 2, 4-D was first tested in India in 1946. Since then a number of herbicides have been imported and tested for their effectiveness in controlling many weed species. In 1952 ICAR initiated schemes for testing the field performance of herbicides in rice, wheat and sugarcane in different states of India. Maximum amount of herbicides (50 to 60 %) were used in the tea plantation.
ICAR recognized the need for strengthening weed research in India by setting up in 1978 an ALL India Co-coordinated Research Programme on Weed Management (AICRPWC) in collaboration with United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Due to intensive agriculture and development of technology in the field of agriculture there is vast scope for controlling weeds by using herbicides, At present due to expanding industrial areas, the villages workers are attracted towards the industries for seeking the employment and created shortage of labourers for cultivation of land. At present there is lot of scope for use of herbicide due to shortage of labourers and increases in wages of farm labourers. Now a day due to the development of agriculture the certain herbicides are also useful for controlling weeds in different crop combinations or cropping systems. Number of herbicides for control of weeds in cropped and non cropped area is also manufactured in the country. The control of weeds with herbicide is useful in zero and minimum tillage.
In many advanced countries the average annual consumption of herbicides is 675 to 1350 gm / ha. In Japan it is as high as 5000 gm / ha. Against these high figures, in India at present the average annual herbicide use is hardly 40 gm / ha. This is largely because of poor purchasing power of most of our farmers and also due to lack of technical knowledge about use of herbicides. The cost of certain herbicides is also very high as the basic ingredients for manufacturing herbicides are imported from the developed countries. The present annual installed capacity of herbicide production in India is about 6000 tonnes. About ¾ of the available herbicides in India are used in plantation crops. At present herbicides use in field crops under our conditions is practiced in major crops like sugarcane, wheat, rice, maze, chillies, vegetable etc.
3) Future Status of Herbicides:
New generation is diverting towards industrial areas and due to shortage of labourers and also increases in wages of agril. Labours there will be vast scope for control of weeds by using herbicides. Certain herbicides have also proved very effective for control of noxious perennial weeds in combination with mechanical methods.