“Not a blade of grass left standing”

“Not a blade of grass left standing.” This wasn’t a  description of an environmental calamity, but rather the sales pitch for Gramevin, the trade name for a herbicide sold by Shell Chemicals. Commercial plantations in Southeast Asia were the target audience, and the grass in  question–lalang (Imperata cylindrica)–was a constant enemy of planters. The grass was entirely the result of planters’ strategy of totally removing  natural forest cover to establish plantations. Without tree cover, the grass spreads aggressively and forms thick root mats that make cultivation difficult.

Gramevin is 2,2-Dichloropropionic acid. Moderately toxic to humans, but not a major concern for birds or aquatic life. (http://pmep.cce.cornell.edu/profiles/extoxnet/carbaryl-dicrotophos/dalapon-ext.html)

Lalang Oil was developed and marketed by Shell, but I haven’t found out what it was made of yet.

 

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