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Chinese scientists develop "armor" against herbicides for crops

Chinese scientists have developed a protective agent that can reduce the effects of herbicide on crops, according to the Hefei institutes of Physical Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The use of herbicides is common in agricultural production. It may affect the growth of non-target crops or trees which may die or suffer from low yields.

Xinhua reports that the protective agent can adjust the hydrophilic and hydrophobic state on the crops' leaves under the exposure of infrared and ultraviolet.

According to Wu Zhengyan, who led the research in the institute, under the hydrophobic state, the adhesion of herbicides on plants is reduced, thus protecting the crops. Under the hydrophilic state, the leaves can achieve efficient absorption of fertilizers.

"The protective agent, resembling armor for plants, can be used more than three times. It can meet the needs of weeding in one crop season," Wu said.

The findings have been published by the American Chemical Society's journal Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering.

Edited by Lena Valverde Jordi
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