When Were Herbicides Invented?

The synthetic compounds 2,4-D and MCPA, the first herbicides, were invented by E.J. Kraus, a botanist at the University of Chicago, working with doctoral students J.W. Mitchell and C.L. Hamner at the USDA in Beltsville, Maryland. In 1943 and 1944, Mitchell and Hamner successfully tested 2,4-D as a way to kill dandelions in a lawn in Beltsville. After World War II, farmers used the compounds to control broadleaf weeds growing with cereals, corn and other grain crops.

Keywords: invention of herbicides, USDA Beltsville, 2,4-D, E.J. Kraus

About this Author

Rogue Parrish has written two travel books and edited at the "The Baltimore Sun," "The Washington Post" and the Alaska Newspapers company. She began writing professionally in 1975. Parrish holds a summa cum laude Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from the University of Maryland.