Course Content
Learn Principles of Agronomy — B.SC agriculture
About Lesson
  1. Increase the organic matter content in the soil
  • Weeds when incorporated in to the soil, increase the organic matter content of the soil.
  • Weeds which appear in abundance are useful sources of organic matter. Weeds belonging to Leguminoseae family can be used for green manuring. Aquatic weeds such as Eichhornia crassipes and Pistia spp are used for composting.
  1. Increase the fertility status of the soil
  • Weed species belonging to Leguminoseae family, algae and Azolla sp. fix atmospheric N biochemically in their bodies.
  • The incorporation of such weeds increases soil fertility. Most of the weeds absorb nutrients from the deeper layers of soil due to which nutrient status of the plough layer can be increased by the incorporation of such weeds.
  1. Check soil erosion
  • Weeds are living mulch and protect the soil by their leaf cover and soil binding capacity of their
  • Weeds resist the beating action of raindrops and the sweeping action of wind. They also increase the infiltration, weathering and soil formation process.
  1. Supplying food, feed and medicine
  • Weeds like Chenopodium album (Bathe) and Amaranthus spp. (Latte) are used as green vegetables.
  • Echinochloa colonum (Sama), Avena fatua (wild oat), Phalaris minor (Ragate jhar), Eclipta alba are used as green fodder.
  • Weeds like Centella asiatica, Imperata cylindrica (Siru), and Artimissia vulgaris have medicinal value.
  • Argemone mexicana seed yields valuable painter oil, which is also used for external skin diseases.
  1. Economic utilization

A bulk of weeds can be economically useful for various purposes, some of them are given below:

  • Imperata cylindrica (siru), Saccharum spp (kans), Typha elephantina are used for thatching roofs of huts and hermitages.
  • Eulaliopsis binate and Sansevieria roxburghiana are used to prepare ropes and strings.
  • Phragmites karka and Andropogon squarrosus are used for making mats and screens.
  • Weeds are also used as raw materials for paper making, basket making and solid fuel and extracting plant growth hormones and pesticides.
  1. Source of genetic material for crop improvement
  • Some weeds are used as a source of genes, which are responsible for various agronomic and or physiological characteristics of crop improvement.

  1. Reclamation of the soil: Argemone mexicana and Cynodon dactylon help to reclaim the alkalinity of soils.

  1. Valued for protecting bunds:
  • Weeds like Cynodon dactylon, Saccharum squarrosus are generally used to protect different types of bunds, irrigation and drainage channels, embankments of river, ponds and pools as well as sides of rail and roadways.
  1. Valued as ornamental plants.
  2. Valued for religious and ritual purposes.
  3. Valued for maintaining biological equilibrium.
  4. Valued for cleaning and purifying water.
  5. Some weeds are used for fencing purpose.
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