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Selective Herbicide

by Achim Dobermann
Published: Last Updated on
Selective Herbicide

Selective herbicide, as the name suggests, is the herbicide that targets only certain types of plants while leaving others unharmed. They are widely used in agriculture, forestry, and landscaping to control weeds and other unwanted vegetation.

It was first developed in the 1940s and 1950s. The earliest types were 2,4-D and 2,4,5-T, which were used extensively in agriculture and forestry. However, concerns about their environmental and health impacts led to their eventual ban in many countries. Since then, its wide range has been developed and used around the world.

Further, it is widely used in many countries around the world. In the United States, for example, its use is common in agriculture, forestry, and landscaping. In Europe, they are also widely used in agriculture and landscaping, although there is a growing movement towards organic and sustainable farming practices.

There are several different types of selective herbicides, each with its own modes of action and target plants. Some important types and their examples are:

  1. Hormone-based herbicides: These herbicides work by disrupting the growth and development of plants. Examples include dicamba and 2,4-D.
  2. Photosynthesis inhibitors: These herbicides target the process of photosynthesis in plants, which is necessary for their growth and development. Examples include atrazine and simazine.
  3. ALS inhibitors: These herbicides target the enzyme acetolactate synthase (ALS), which is necessary for the production of branched-chain amino acids in plants. Examples include imazamox and imazapic.

According to a report by the Global Herbicide Resistance Action Committee, herbicide resistance is a growing problem in many countries. The report states that there are now over 500 confirmed cases of herbicide resistance in weeds, with the majority of cases occurring in North America, Australia, and Europe.


Recent studies have found that some selective herbicides, such as glyphosate, may have negative impacts on soil health and biodiversity. Other studies have linked exposure to certain herbicides with an increased risk of cancer and other health problems.

It is important for controlling weeds and other unwanted vegetation in agriculture, forestry, and landscaping. It can help to increase crop yields and reduce the use of manual labor in weed control. However, its overuse can lead to herbicide resistance, environmental damage, and negative impacts on human and animal health.

Herbicide resistance is caused by the overuse of herbicides, which leads to the selection of resistant plants. As resistant plants continue to grow and reproduce, the resistance trait becomes more common in the population.

Meanwhile, its effective management requires careful planning and monitoring to minimize environmental impacts and reduce the risk of herbicide resistance. Factors that can affect its effectiveness include soil type, weather conditions, and the presence of resistant weeds.


In conclusion, selective herbicide is an important tool for controlling unwanted vegetation. While they offer several advantages, including efficient weed control and increased crop yields, their use can also lead to environmental damage, herbicide resistance, and negative impacts on human and animal health. It is important to carefully manage and monitor its use to minimize these risks. As the world continues to face the challenge of feeding a growing population, it will continue to play an important role in sustainable and efficient agriculture.

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