Home Crops In Kenya Articles Bentazone Herbicide: A Kenyan Bean Farmer’s Friend?

Bentazone Herbicide: A Kenyan Bean Farmer’s Friend?

Bean Herbicide Bentazone

As a Kenyan bean farmer, you are likely familiar with the challenges of weed management. Weeds can quickly overtake your bean fields, reducing yields and impacting the quality of your crops. That’s why it’s essential to have effective herbicides on hand to control weed growth and protect your beans.

One herbicide that has been gaining popularity among Kenyan bean farmers is bentazone. This selective post-emergence herbicide is designed to kill weeds that have already germinated and come into contact with it, while leaving your beans unharmed. When applied correctly, bentazone can be an effective tool for managing weed growth in your bean fields.

What is Bentazone Herbicide?

Bentazone is a post-emergence herbicide used for selective control of broadleaf weeds and sedges in various crops, including beans, rice, corn, peanuts, and mint. It is a contact herbicide that inhibits weeds and grasses by interfering with the photosynthetic pathway, essentially blocking photosynthesis. This causes the leaves to turn yellow, and eventually, the weed dies.

Bentazone is a selective herbicide as it only damages plants unable to metabolize the chemical. It is considered safe for use on alfalfa, beans (with the exception of garbanzo beans), maize, peanuts, peas (with the exception of black-eyed peas), pepper, peppermint, rice, sorghum, soybeans, and spearmint; as well as lawns and turf.

Bentazone is a selective contact (foliar) herbicide for post-emergence control of annual broadleaf weeds and yellow nutsedge in a variety of crops, including soybeans, alfalfa, beans, corn, peas, peppers, and sorghum. It also has activity on some perennial broadleaf weeds such as Canada thistle and field bindweed.

Bentazone Herbicide and Bean Farming in Kenya

Bean farming is one of the most important agricultural activities in Kenya. However, weed infestation can significantly reduce bean yields, leading to significant losses for farmers. To combat this, farmers have turned to herbicides like Bentazone.

Bentazone is a selective post-emergence herbicide that is effective in controlling broadleaf weeds in leguminous crops like beans. It works by inhibiting photosynthesis in the targeted weeds, leading to their death. When used correctly, Bentazone can help farmers significantly reduce weed infestation and increase their bean yields.

However, it is important to note that Bentazone can also have negative effects on non-target plants and organisms. Farmers must, therefore, use it responsibly and follow the recommended application rates and timings.

When using Bentazone, farmers should spray the weeds when they are still young and at the 3-4 leaves stage for the herbicide to effectively kill them. The recommended application rate for Bentazone is 200 ml/20L, and it is usually applied during land preparation or 2-3 days after sowing.

It is also important for farmers to note that Bentazone is not effective against all types of weeds. In some cases, farmers may need to use other herbicides or weed control methods to effectively manage weed infestation in their bean farms.

Overall, Bentazone can be an effective tool for managing weed infestation in bean farms in Kenya. However, it is important for farmers to use it responsibly and in combination with other weed control methods to ensure optimal yields and protect non-target plants and organisms.

How Bentazone Herbicide Affects the Environment

Bentazone is a contact herbicide that is widely used to control broadleaf weeds in leguminous crops such as soybean, dry bean, pea, and peanut. However, its use has raised concerns about its potential impact on the environment.

Studies have shown that bentazone can persist in soils and water bodies, leading to contamination of groundwater and surface water. When it enters the water bodies, it can pose a risk to aquatic life, including fish and other organisms. In addition, it can also affect non-target plants, leading to reduced biodiversity in the environment.

Bentazone can also have an impact on soil microorganisms, which play a crucial role in maintaining soil fertility and health. The herbicide can disrupt the balance of soil microorganisms, leading to reduced soil fertility and productivity. This can have a significant impact on the long-term sustainability of agricultural systems.

spraying herbicide
spraying herbicide

Another concern with bentazone is its potential to cause adverse health effects in humans and animals. Exposure to the herbicide can cause skin irritation, eye irritation, and respiratory problems. Ingestion of the herbicide can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and other symptoms.

Overall, the use of bentazone herbicide should be carefully managed to minimize its impact on the environment and human health. Farmers should follow recommended application rates and timing, and avoid using the herbicide in areas close to water bodies or sensitive ecosystems.

Benefits and Risks of Using Bentazone Herbicide

Bentazone herbicide is an effective tool for controlling broadleaf weeds in leguminous crops such as soybean, dry bean, pea, and peanut. It works by inhibiting photosynthesis in the weeds, making it an excellent post-emergent herbicide. Here are some benefits and risks associated with using bentazone herbicide in your farming practices:


  • Bentazone herbicide offers reliable and cost-effective post-emergent control of tough broadleaf weeds, including velvet leaf, yellow nutsedge, annual sedges, and more.
  • It can be used post-emergence in corn, sorghum, rice, and established spearmint and peppermint.
  • Bentazone herbicide selectively controls broadleaved weeds, making it a safe option for leguminous crops.
  • It is easy to apply and can be used in both conventional and organic farming practices.


  • Bentazone herbicide is a toxic chemical that may cause adverse symptoms like dermal allergic reactions and serious eye irritation. It is essential to follow the recommended safety precautions and wear protective gear when handling the herbicide.
  • Accidental ingestion of bentazone herbicide can cause vomiting, diarrhea, trembling, weakness, and irregular or labored breathing. Always store the herbicide in a secure location and away from children and animals.
  • Overuse of bentazone herbicide can lead to herbicide resistance in weeds, which can have important economic and environmental consequences. It is essential to follow the recommended application rates and rotate herbicides to prevent resistance.

Overall, bentazone herbicide can be an effective tool for controlling broadleaf weeds in leguminous crops. However, it is essential to follow the recommended safety precautions and use the herbicide responsibly to minimize the risks associated with its use.


Bentazone herbicide is a selective herbicide that is effective in controlling broadleaf weeds in leguminous crops such as beans, soybean, dry bean, pea, and peanut. It can also be used postemergence in corn, sorghum, rice, and established spearmint and peppermint. The herbicide works by interfering with the photosynthetic pathway of the weeds, causing the leaves to turn yellow and eventually leading to the death of the weed.

When using Bentazone herbicide, it is important to follow the recommended application rates and timing to ensure effective control of weeds while minimizing the risk of crop damage. Farmers should also take precautions to protect themselves from exposure to the herbicide by wearing protective clothing and avoiding contact with the skin and eyes.

Overall, Bentazone herbicide is a useful tool for bean farmers in Kenya to manage weeds and improve crop yields. However, it is important to use the herbicide responsibly and in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure its effectiveness and safety.

Also Read: Bean Farming In Kenya

Sources: Mine, Akihiko, and Shooichi Matsunaka. “Mode of action of bentazon: Effect on photosynthesis.” Pesticide biochemistry and physiology 5.5 (1975): 444-450. Link: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0048357575900176

Queirós, Libânia, et al. “Improved efficiency of an herbicide combining bentazone and terbuthylazine–can weeds be controlled with better environmental safety?.” Environmental Science: Advances 1.3 (2022): 342-355. Link: https://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlehtml/2022/va/d2va00036a

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John Kamau is a highly experienced agriculture expert based in Kenya. He holds a degree in Agriculture from the University of Nairobi and has over 15 years of experience in the field. Throughout his career, John has been committed to promoting sustainable agriculture practices in Kenya. He has worked with small-scale farmers in rural communities to improve their crop yields, implement irrigation systems, and adopt environmentally friendly farming practices. John is also an expert in the use of technology in agriculture. He has worked with organizations to develop mobile applications that help farmers access information about weather patterns, market prices, and best practices for crop management. In addition to his work in Kenya, John has also been involved in agricultural projects in other African countries, including Tanzania and Uganda. He has served as a consultant for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and has been recognized for his work with numerous awards.


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