INTRODUCTION (MEANING OF WEEDS)
Weeds are unwanted plants growing in the farm and other places. Any plant not planted on the farmland by the farmer and grow where they are not wanted is called a weed. Weeds compete with the grown plant for food, water, air and space, such that the wanted plant may eventually die.
A good example of weeds is grass that is growing in a yam farm. Such a plant must be removed in time.
1. Elephant grass
2. Guinea grass
3. Spear grass
4. Giant star grass
5. bahama grass
6. Carpet grass
7. Pig weed.
CHARACTERISTICS OF WEEDS
1. Easily Dispersed – Plants cannot move but have many ways of getting around and grow easily. With the activities of man and animals make it easily spread or dispersed. Seeds can be dispersed by wind, water, animals, and humans.
2. Long Dormancy – Plants do not grow easily even under favorable environmental conditions for germination including, temperature, water, light, etc.
USES OF WEEDS TO THE FARMERS
1. Weeds protect the soil from wind and water erosion.
2. Weeds retain the soil nutrients from plants use.
3. Weed keep and protect the microorganisms that increases soil nutrients for plants use.
4. Weeds are used cover yam from burning after planting.
5. Weeds are used for crops preservation and packaging.
6. Weeds are used for mat production.
7. Weeds are used for feeding livestock.
8. Weeds are used for herbal medicine.
9. Some of them are actually crops. For example, maize is a weed, if grown on yam farmland. The farmer may decide to keep it it is healthy and useful for yam.
ECONOMIC IMPORTANCE OF WEEDS
1. It reduces the crops production.
2. It reduces the quality of harvest.
3. It increases the cost of crops production.
4. It may poise the animals.
5. The cost of controlling weed is high.
6. It causes quicker wear and tear of farm implements.
EFFECTS OF WEED CONTROL METHODS ON VEGETATION AND SOIL
1. Pollution of soil and ground water.
2. Contamination of livestock pasture.
3. Expose the soil to erosion – wind and water.
4. Destroy soil micro organisms.
5. It reduces the aquatic animals.
CONTROL METHODS ON VEGETATION AND SOIL
1. Biological Control
This process involves using animals to feed on the weeds on a farm of tree crops that are fully grown, such as a citrus orchard, rubber plantation and palm plantation. One disadvantage of this method is that the animals may also eat and destroy the wanted plants in the process.
2. Cultural Control
Cultural control is the removal of weed by hands, cutlass or hoe. It involves uprooting weeds with hands, cutlass or hoe. This is also called manual control.
A chemical is a man-made liquid or powder used for controlling or killing Weeds. It is also used for controlling or killing pets and diseases. This control is called weedicides.
1. Define the term, weed.
2. State 5 characteristics of weed.
3. Mention 5 uses of weed to farmers.
4. What are the economic important of weeds.
5. List 5 effects of weeds on crops with appropriate solutions.