See how a University of Florida program is using charcoal to clean soil of herbicide residue.


Many ag soils can have leftover herbicide residue from prior crops. Any herbicide residue will obviously impact any current crops that are growing in the field. Ramdas Kanissery, an assistant professor at the University of Florida’s Horticultural Sciences Department at the Southwest Florida Research and Education Center in Immokalee, is part of a project that is using charcoal to clean soils of leftover herbicides. Read the details, from a Vegetable and Specialty Crop News article.

Charcoal Project for Cleaning Herbicide Residue


Herbicides are used for weed management, but they can become trapped in the soil due to soil persistence. Removing any leftover herbicides can help a new crop to have a fresh slate with clean soil.

The first step is to take a soil sample to check for herbicide residue. If leftover herbicides are found in the soil, then small, pulverized pieces of charcoal, called granulated activated carbon, also known as GAC, are applied in the soil. The carbon absorbs the leftover herbicide, removing the herbicide from the soil. The soil is then ready for planting as far as herbicides are concerned.

According to the article, vegetables like tomatoes, melons, and cucumbers are especially sensitive to leftover herbicide. Excess herbicide can hinder crop growth, causing crop injury. The charcoal project is part of Professor Kanissery’s appointment to assist in reducing crop injury for growers.

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