Weeds – Harmful and Beneficial Effects

Weed is an unwanted plant. It grows on the agricultural land and is harmful for the crops. Almost 45% of the total annual loss of agricultural produce in India is caused by weeds.

Weed Menace in Agriculture

  • Acts as alternate hosts to crops & diseases
  • Reduces nutrient values of the agricultural land
  • Limits choice of crops

Beneficial Effects of Weed

There are some benefits of weeds on the agricultural land like:

  • Conserve soil moisture & prevent erosion of soil nutrients
  • Add to organic matter content of the soil
  • Some weeds are helpful in fixing atmospheric nitrogen in paddy soils. E.g. blue green algae
  • Some weeds are being used for the purpose of green manure and composting
  • Act as alternative food sources to pests which are natural enemies of crops
  • Some weeds have medicinal properties too like –
    • Leucas aspera used to cure snake bites
    • Calotropis procera for gastric troubles
    • Argemona Mexicana for skin disorders
    • Phyllantus nirur for jaundice
    • Striga orobanchoides to control diabetes