Tadeusz PRACZYK* – Institute of Plant Protection – National Research Institute, Poznań, Poland
Please cite as: CHEMIK 2016, 70, 9, 485–490
In the modern farming, the main method of crop protection against weed infestation is the use of chemical products. The 1940s discovery of the herbicidal action of (4-chloro-2-methylphenoxy) acetic acid (MCPA) and (2,4-dichlorophenoxy)acetic acid (2,4-D) was the beginning of a selective weed control. These products are very effective against many species of dicityledonous weeds without a negative impact on cereal plants. The achievements of the phytopharmaceutical industry in the field of new compound synthesis in the following years resulted in the introduction of many new herbicides into the market. Many new products, including glyphosate, pendimethalin, isoproturon, metamitron, clopyralid, metazachlor, as well as the first herbicide of the sulfonylurea family – chlorosulfuron, were introduced into the market in the 1970s. Currently, approx. 140 chemical compounds are used as the active ingredients in herbicides. Apart from theobvious advantages, such as: high effectiveness, low application costs, possibility of application on large areas in a short time, the wide-spread use of herbicides may cause the degradation of the natural environment, particularly the contamination of groundwater, as well as poses a risk of contaminating agricultural products with the residues of active ingredients and their metabolites.
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