Bordeaux mixture is a mixture of copper (II) sulfate (CuSO4) and slaked lime (Ca(OH)2). It is primarily used as a fungicide. It is sprayed on vineyards, fruit-farms, and gardens as a measure to prevent infestations of downy mildew, powdery mildew, and other fungi. The mixture of copper sulfate and calcium hydroxide is a good, non-systemic fungicide capable of controlling the fungal diseases.
Copper sulfate with lime offers a protective barrier on the plant surface, thereby preventing fungi from entering the host plant. Copper ions react with the sulfur-containing ligands in the enzyme of the plant and inhibit the metabolism of the fungus. Bordeaux mixture becomes ineffective after the fungus has been established completely. The mixture is also used in the treatment of ringworm in cattle. It can cause copper-poisoning if it comes in contact with the metal. The product was first manufactured in France in the late 19th century.
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Bordeaux mixture can be prepared at home as and when required. Farmers can prepare it on their own and use it when required. In order to produce Bordeaux mixture, one kilogram of powdered copper sulfate is dissolved in 50 liters of water in a mud pot or plastic bucket. Mud pot or plastic bucket is used so as to avoid contact of the mixture with any metal surface, as the mixture can poison it. Next, one kilogram of lime is dissolved in 50 liters of water. The copper sulfate solution is poured into this lime solution slowly.
The mixture is stirred slowly. In order to detect presence of more copper in the solution, a new steel knife is dipped into the solution. If a brownish coat appears on the knife, then more lime solution is added. The procedure is repeated until the brown coat stops getting formed on the knife. Presence of free copper is injurious to plants. Though Bordeaux mixture is useful for plants, it is found to be harmful for livestock on earth. Bordeaux mixture has been found to be harmful to fish and earthworms also, due to potential deposition of copper in soil and water.
Asia Pacific holds a major share of the global Bordeaux mixture market, as the region is well-known for farming and for its agricultural resources. Growing size of farms and the presence of a large number of vendors are the primary factors augmenting the market in this region. Rising population, increasing demand for food, and changing climatic conditions are the other reasons for growth of the market in Asia Pacific. The development of rural India plays a vital role in growth of the market in the Indian subcontinent.
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The roots of rural India lie in agriculture and Indian farmers require good-quality fertilizers, pesticides, and fungicides. Europe also holds a considerable share in the global Bordeaux mixture market. The product was initially manufactured in France, which is located in Europe. North America, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa hold lower shares in the market as compared to Asia Pacific and Europe. Demand for Bordeaux mixture in these regions is much low, as the regions have more advanced technologies available.
Key manufacturers of Bordeaux mixture across the globe include Krishidoot Bio-Herbals, Biota Agro Solutions Pvt. Ltd., Parikh Enterprises Pvt. Ltd., and Shyam Chemicals Pvt. Ltd.
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