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Congress grass playing havoc with crops and cattle

Congress grass playing havoc with crops and cattle
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Parthenium, commonly known as congress grass, is silently killing the green wealth of the country very particularly Andhra Pradesh and Telangana states.

Visakhapatnam: Parthenium, commonly known as congress grass, is silently killing the green wealth of the country very particularly Andhra Pradesh and Telangana states.

This highly dangerous and useless plant, at a large extent, has been spreading in multiple numbers and sucking the nutritious substances from soil. Though the biological scientists and experts in biological warfare are warning the government about the dangers of the weed, governments are not taking any steps to arrest its spread.

With the lack of preventive steps, this unwanted weed already occupied one-fourths of land in both the Telugu states and rapidly spreading further. With the highly-dangerous impact from parthenium, crops, animals and human lives have been badly affecting in the both states.

Already, yield of various crops has come down by 26 per cent to 27 per cent. Its impact all over the country is 40 per cent. Even the ill effects of the weed are taking toll of cattle. “It is a bio war and some of the countries are intentionally pushing the weed into our country to make us weak.

Already all the developed countries have been initiated serious steps to arrest the noxious invasive species which is considered to be one of the worst weeds currently across the globe. The seeds of the weed reportedly came to India with grains imported from US as a part of Food for Peace,” Professor G Sudarsanam, Chairman (PG) Board of Studies in Botany, SV University, told The Hans India.

Due to the presence of chemicals like parthenin, hysterin, hymenin, and ambrosin, the weed exerts strong allelopathic effects on the crops. Parthenium producing enormous number of pollens is carried away to short distance in clusters of 600–800 grains which settle on the vegetative and floral parts, including stigmatic surface, inhibiting vegetation and killing almost all the crops, including tomato, brinjal, beans, capsicum, and maize.

Parthenium weed is toxic to animals causing dermatitis with pronounced skin lesions on various animals. It is responsible for mouth ulcers with excessive salivation. The milk production is declining as the cattle suffering with several health issues after eating parthenium along with the grass.

By VKL Gayatri

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