Chemical sprays for weed control
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Weeds have been the bugbear of the farmer from time immemorial. They have added to his cost of production and limited the growth of his crops in no uncertain manner. It is safe to say that ever since man commenced to till the soil to provide himself with the food required for his existence the major portion of his unceasing toil has been devoted to the eradication of these unwanted pests. In the early days his good friend the horse assisted to lighten his burden. The advent of the internal combustion engine and the development of the fast moving high clearance tractor brought about an immeasurable improvement. In all these practices the methods were fundamentally similar in that the weeds were destroyed by mechanical breaking off, mutilation of essential growing parts or severance of roots from close contact with the soil. Tine and disc implements have been developed which will work efficiently under widely varying soil and crop conditions. Nevertheless there are limits to what a machine can do and certain of these limitations are imposed by the conditions necessary for the most favourable growth of the crop plant itself. An instance that immediately comes to mind is that the crop with which we are concerned - sugar cane-thrives best in moist soils in warm and humid climates. It is under such conditions that weeds make their most vigorous growth, but it is an unfortunate fact that the wetter the soil the less efficiently will soil disturbing implements operate. Above all, the question of cost is of paramount importance, and in an endeavour to reduce the ever mounting cost of production, cane growers have focussed their attention on the most recent developments of chemical weed control which give excellent promise of being efficient, economic and practicable.