The basin area of oil palm is kept free of weed growth through ring weeding. It is more important for young palms, roots of which are to be kept free from competition from weed.
Depending on the extent of weed growth and rainfall, hand weeding is carried out even upto four times in a year during early years of the plantation which is progressively reduced to two rounds a year.
Herbicide application has become common in recent years.
Care must be taken in the choice of herbicide and its application to prevent the damage of young palms.
It is recommended to preferably apply contact herbicides rather than translocated herbicides.
Translocated herbicides like Paraquat which is inactivated when contacted with soil are also used.
Herbicides such as 2, 4-D, 2, 4-5-T, halogenated aliphatic acids Dalapon and TCA are found to produce abnormalities in oil palm seedlings and are to be avoided.
Herbicide mixtures of 2 kg a.i. of Paraquat with 3 - 4 kg Atrazine per ha sprayed/ground applied twice a year has been found to give control of weeds.