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Herbicides

  • By: Mei-Hui Li
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Herbicides are a subclass of pesticides that are designed to kill unwanted plants or inhibit their growth. Herbicides contain a wide variety of chemicals, including both inorganic and organic compounds, with different abilities to interrupt specific physiological processes of plants for their survival, growth, and development. The use of herbicides provides a cost-effective method to control the growth of unwanted plants in order to decrease labor costs and increase crop production. Herbicides are extensively applied in agriculture, forestry, and urban areas for unwanted plant management. In addition, herbicides are often used to control nuisance aquatic plant growths or algae blooms in water bodies.

Initially, most chemical herbicides were inorganic compounds that were usually very toxic to both desirable crops and unwanted plants as well as ...

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