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Copper Sulphate CuSO4 x 5H2O
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Copper sulphate manufacturer, Supplier, Exporter. We are keeping ready stock of Copper sulphate in Mumbai, Gandhidham, Chennai, Visakhapatnam, Kolkata, Dubai, Sharjah, Fujairah, Abu Dhabi, Muscat, Oman, Middle East UAE, Nairobi, Mombasa, Uganda, Kenya Africa, South Africa, Canada

We offering services as manufacturers and suppliers of quality industrial chemicals. With the offered range comprising Copper Sulphate Powder, Copper Carbonate and Copper Sulphate Crystals, these feature precision formulation standards and processed using well equipped infrastructure support so as to deliver best possible quality finish. We also ensure that the chemicals are processed in an eco-friendly way that ensures surrounding environment is not harmed. Further, as complete range is processed in hygienic laboratories and well defined processes, these are renowned for accurate composition, pH value and purity levels, thus making the products highly demanded in the market.

Their Copper/Cupric Sulphate, Copper Sulphate Crystal, Copper position in the international market, they are best in providing Copper/Cupric Sulphate, Copper Sulphate Crystal, Copper to the regular clients at very inexpensive price.




We offering services as manufacturers and suppliers of quality industrial chemicals. With the offered range comprising Copper Sulphate Powder, Copper Carbonate and Copper Sulphate Crystals, these feature precision formulation standards and processed using well equipped infrastructure support so as to deliver best possible quality finish. We also ensure that the chemicals are processed in an eco-friendly way that ensures surrounding environment is not harmed. Further, as complete range is processed in hygienic laboratories and well defined processes, these are renowned for accurate composition, pH value and purity levels, thus making the products highly demanded in the market.


Copper sulfate exporter and stockist in India and the Middle East. We are keeping ready stock of materials to complete our regular customer demand locally and globally. High-quality range of Copper Sulphate, Cupric Sulphate, Copper Sulphate Crystal, Copper Offered Copper/Cupric Sulphate, Copper Sulphate Crystal, Copper are well-known for the features like long working life, high functionality, and low maintenance.

There are plenty of Copper Sulfate Applications which can be studied through out our website.

Restoring Copper in Soil & Livestock Simple Solutions


Copper, A Key Mineral For Life Sustaining Organisms And How Copper Sulfate Plays A Role


Copper is needed to sustain life -  Human, Animal or Plant. 

Most living cells in us created by the good Lord himself experiences the benefits of copper or is reliant on copper for proper functionality. The purity of our copper sulfate makes it one of the best supplemental copper additives for soil and livestock. 

If you already know the copper deficiency problems pertaining to soil or livestock and you know your requirements for copper sulfate, you can go to our products page and place your order. All of our fifty pound bags of copper sulfate are the highest purity of  copper sulfate. If you need more information or would like to know more please read on.

Listed below is a brief summary of the information you will find for Copper Deficiency sub pages.


Farmers that observe copper deficiencies are almost always managers striving for optimal yields. Their fertility management often includes manure and above average rates of fertilizer application. In many instances, their first indication of copper deficiency are crops with yield and quality consistently below expectations.

A copper deficiency can result in early aging or lowered levels of chlorophyll, which leads to yield reductions that go unnoticed if the deficiency is not severe.

Many symptoms of copper deficiency may be confused with frost damage, insect damage, diseases and herbicide injury. Some herbicide/cereal interactions have been documented on copper deficient soils.


Marginal to severe copper deficiency in cattle is widespread across the United States.

Forage surveys conducted across the United States overwhelmingly reveal forage samples that are marginally to severely deficient in copper

It is widely known that copper deficiency in cattle results in reduced reproductive efficiency and performance.

Reproductive problems cost beef producers about $15.00 per cow per year. This translates into $750 per year for a 50-cow herd.

Copper is needed by a variety of key systems in the body.

 Some signs are decreased conception rates; increased days open; hoof problems; depressed immunity; anemia; reduced growth rate and, in some cases, diarrhea......

Proper copper nutrition is essential for a healthy immune system in cattle.

Do not skimp on mineral supplementation during spring and summer months when forage quality is good. Remember that most soils are deficient in copper so the forages grown on those soils will be deficient too


Uses of Copper Compounds: Copper Sulphate


Copper sulphate, blue stone, blue vitriol are all common names for pentahydrated cupric sulphate, Cu S04 5 H20, which is the best known and the most widely used of the copper salts. Indeed it is often the starting raw material for the production of many of the other copper salts. Today in the world there are more than 100 manufacturers and the world's consumption is around 200,000 tons per annum of which it is estimated that approximately three-quarters is used in agriculture, principally as a fungicide.

Manufacture In the production of copper sulphate virgin copper is seldom, if ever, used as the starting raw material. Copper ores are used in countries where these are mined. For the bulk of the world's production nonferrous scrap is the general source. The scrap is refined and the molten metal poured into water to produce roughly spherical porous pieces about the size of marbles which are termed "shot". This shot is dissolved in dilute sulphuric acid in the presence of air to produce a hot saturated liquor which, if the traditional large crystals of copper sulphate are required, is allowed to cool slowly in large cooling vats into which strips of lead are hung to provide a surface for the crystals to grow on. If the granulated (snow) crystal grades are desired, the cooling process is accelerated by agitating the liquor in water cooled vessels.

Other methods of production are:

  • By heating copper scrap with sulphur to produce copper sulphide which is then oxidised to form copper sulphate.
  • By heating copper sulphide ores to produce copper oxide which is then treated with sulphuric acid to form copper sulphate.
  • By slow leaching in air of piles of low grade ore. Bacterial action is sometimes employed to hasten the process. A solution of copper sulphate drains away from such heaps.

Commercially copper sulphate contains 25 % metallic copper and is sold with a guaranteed minimum purity of 98 % copper sulphate. It is produced in a number of grades varying from large crystal lumps, of 25 mm or more in diameter from which it appropriately derives the name bluestone, to very fine powders of almost the fineness of talcum powder. The four commonest grades, based on crystal diameter sizes, are:

  • Large crystals (from 10 mm to 40 mm)
  • Small crystals (from 2 mm to 10 mm)
  • Granulated or snow crystals (less than 2 mm)
  • Windswept powder (less than 0.15 mm)

Uses of Copper Sulfates

Copper sulphate is a very versatile chemical with as extensive a range of uses in industry as it has in agriculture. Its principal employment is in agriculture, and this role is described in some detail in the next section.

Up to a generation or so ago about its only uses in the industry were as a mordant for dyeing and for electroplating, but today it is being employed in many industrial processes. The synthetic fibre industry has found an application for it in the production of their raw material. The metal industry uses large quantities of copper sulphate as an electrolyte in copper refining, for copper coating steel wire prior to wire drawing and in various copper plating processes. The mining industry employs it as an activator in the concentration by froth flotation of lead, zinc, cobalt and gold ores. The printing trade takes it as an electrolyte in the production of electrotype and as an etching agent for process engraving. The paint industry uses it in anti-fouling paints and it plays a part in the colouring of glass. Indeed, today there is hardly an industry which does not have some small use for copper sulphate.

Tag Identification

Uses of Copper Compounds: General Uses

To trace the history of copper compounds it would be necessary to go back much further than the fourth millennium BC. Records found in the tombs of the early Egyptians suggest that, at least, this ancient civilisation employed copper sulphate as a mordant in their dyeing process. Today, more than 5,000 years later, copper sulphate is still employed by the world's dyeing industry in the after treatment of certain dyes to improve their fastness to light and washing.












Another equally early recorded use for copper compounds was for the making of ointments and other medical preparations. Later, the Greek civilisation of the pre-Christian era of Hypocrates (circa 400 BC) saw the prescribing of copper sulphate for pulmonary diseases and by the 18th century AD it had come into wide clinical use in the western world, being employed for the treatment of mental disorders and afflictions of the lungs.

It is noteworthy that copper sulphate has lost none of its effectiveness over the centuries, neither have any harmful side effects been reported. Copper sulphate is still, however, highly prized by some inhabitants of Africa and Asia for healing sores and skin diseases. In the West it is widely used in baby foods and in mineral and vitamin tonics and pills.

Copper has a wide spectrum of effectiveness against the many biological agents of timber and fabric decay. It renders them unpalatable to insects and protects them from fungus attack. Copper sulphate has been in use since 1838 for preserving timber and is today the base for many proprietary wood preservatives.

The discovery more than 80 years ago that many algae are highly susceptible to copper, led to the use of copper salts by water engineers to prevent the development of algae in potable water reservoirs. They are also employed to control green slime and similar algal scums in farm ponds, rice fields, irrigation and drainage canals, rivers, lakes and swimming pools.

Another well known use for copper compounds is as a molluscicide for the control of slugs and snails. Less than one part of copper per million parts of water can control disease-transmitting aquatic snails, which are responsible for schistosomiasis or bilharzia in humans in tropical countries and fascioliasis or liver fluke of animals in both tropical and temperate climates.







Uses of Copper Compounds: Other Copper Compounds


Copper Acetates

Basic copper acetate (verdigris) was at one time made in France by interleaving copper metal sheets with fermented grape skins and dregs left after wine manufacture. After some time when the copper sheets had become coated with verdigris they were removed, exposed to the air for a few days and then replaced. This process was repeated until the whole sheet had become corroded. The resulting product was known as blue verdigris and was used as a fungicide at 1 kg basic copper acetate in 500 litres water.

Present manufacture is based on the action of acetic acid on copper metal, copper oxide or copper carbonate. They can also be prepared by treating a copper sulphate solution with lead acetate. Copper acetates are used as an intermediate in the manufacture of Paris green (cupric aceto-arsenite); as a catalyst in a number of organic reactions including rubber aging; as a chemical in textile dyeing; and as a pigment for ceramics. Copper acetates have also been used for impregnating kraft paper to produce an anti-tarnish wrapping paper for high grade silver ware.

Cuprous Oxide

Can be produced either electrolytically from copper or by the action of alkaline reducing agents on copper sulphate solutions. Formulated proprietary brands of cuprous oxide are extensively employed as fungicides and seed dressings. Another important application is in anti-fouling paints. Other uses include the colouring of porcelain and glass.

Cupric Oxide (black copper oxide)

Can be produced either by adding caustic soda to hot copper sulphate solutions or by treating copper scale with nitric acid and heating to redness. Cupric oxide is used in the ceramic industry for imparting blue, green or red tints in glasses, glazes and enamels. It is occasionally employed for incorporation in mineral supplements for insuring against an insufficiency of copper in the diet of animals. Among its other uses is the preparation of cuprammonium hydroxide solutions for the rayon industry.

Cupric Chloride

Obtained either by dissolving cupric oxide in hydrochloric acid or by the action of chlorine on copper. Its principal use is in the petroleum industry for sweetening (catalytic oxidation of the mercaptans) and as an ingredient of catalysts for other chemical processes. It is also used as a mordant in calico printing and dyeing.

Copper Oxychloride

Is a basic copper chloride and is usually manufactured either by the action of hydrochloric acid on copper metal or by the air oxidation of cuprous chloride suspensions. It has a number of applications, by far the most important being as an agricultural fungicide for which purpose it is extensively employed in formulated form as dusts, wettable powders and pastes.

Cuprous Chloride

Prepared either by heating a solution of cupric chloride with copper turnings or by the action of a reducing agent, such as sulphur dioxide, on a mixture of common salt and copper sulphate solution. The petroleum industry uses cuprous chloride in their "oil sweetening" process. Ammoniacal solutions of cuprous chloride are employed for the absorption of any carbon monoxide which may be present in a gas as an impurity.

Cupric Nitrate

Produced either by dissolving copper carbonate in nitric acid or direct from copper and nitric acid. It has a number of small uses, such as in ceramics, in dyeing as a mordant, in fireworks and in photography.

Copper Cyanide

Manufactured from sodium cyanide and copper sulphate. It is mainly used for copper electroplating.

Copper Soaps

Usually made by the interactlon of the corresponding soap with copper sulphate solution. Small quantities of these, such as copper stearate, copper oleate and copper abietate (from resins), are employed mainly for rot-proofing textiles, ropes, etc. They are also used in paints as they are soluble in oils, white spirits, etc.

Copper Naphthenate

Usually manufactured either from copper sulphate and naphthenic acid in combination with an alkali or by heating naphthenic acid and copper oxide. It is widely used as an oil-based wood preservative and as a rot-proofing agent.

Anhydrous and Monohydrated Copper Sulphate

Obtained by heating copper sulphate pentahydrate when four molecules water of crystallization are removed the product becomes copper sulphate monohydrate which is green in colour. At a higher temperature all the water of crystallization is removed and anhydrous copper sulphate is the white powder which results. They can also be obtained by crystallization from copper sulphate pentahydrate in boiling sulphuric acid. The main applications are in the production of proprietary wood preservatives and agricultural fungicides as well as for the production of a number of copper compounds. Sometimes they are utilised to detect the presence of moisture.



Metal Etching Using Copper Sulfate

Guaranteed Precision

The Improved Copper Sulfate Metal Etching Solution - Add Water

We continue to offer pure Copper Sulfate Crystals at wholesale prices for use in metal etching.

The improved Copper Sulfate Metal Etching product with an added catalyst  to enhance  performance, sharpen etching detail and extend the working life of the solution.Copper Sulfate is in stock and available for purchase on our Product Ordering page.

HOW Copper Sulfate WORKS for Etching: 
Research and experimentation has led to a better solution for those who use straight copper sulfate for a metal etching solution. The traditional (non-copper sulfate) etching process uses harmful acids which release toxic vapors and require special handleing and practices. The use of a copper sulfate solution for etching has always been safer than the alternative and copper sulfate use for metal etching is steadily growing.. however, RXSOL Copper Sulfate provides what many feel are practical improvements over using plain copper sulfate in a metal etching solution. A saturated solution of plain copper sulfate crystals is an excellent mordant for zinc, aluminum, copper, brass and mild steel, but due to lack of a catalyst, etching is somewhat slow and the solution becomes exhausted quickly. The use of RXSOL Copper Sulfate instead of plain copper sulfate enhances the electrolytic eroding potential of copper sulfate to be harnessed more fully. We offer this outstanding alternative solution, RXSOL Copper Sulfate, pre-mixed and measured - Just add water!

The RXSOL Copper Sulfate solution activates the etch by diminishing the bond with water. Our RXSOL Copper Sulfate for etching zinc, aluminum, copper, brass and mild steel is about three times more active than a straight copper sulfate solution; it also produces a very crisp etch. During biting a coppery sediment of metal hydroxides and oxides floats to the surface, thus keeping the bitten work from clogging up. Etching can also be aided by occasionally brushing the plate surface with a soft brush; delicate marks, such as a spray aquatint or soft ground should, however, be etched without brushing. RXSOL Copper Sulfate works more effectively if floating solids are regularly skimmed off with a brush or strainer and removed from the bath. This keeps the solution from turning alkaline and extends its usable life. 



Products and Equipment needed to improve your etching experience:

  • RXSOL Copper Sulfate

  • supply of hot water

  • heavy-duty gloves

  • safety goggles

  • dust mask

  • wooden stick or stiff plastic brush for mixing

  • bucket

  • etching tray


Mix Copper Sulfate as follows. (This example is for 4 pounds of RXSOL Copper Sulfate.)

As always put on gloves, dust mask, and safety goggles when handling even the safest of chemicals.

  1. Place RXSOL Copper Sulfate powder into a bucket or straight into the chosen etching tray.

  2. Add 1 gallon of hot water and stir with a wooden stick or a stiff brush. The solution turns into a green sludge.

  3. Then add 1 gallon of warm water stirring continuously. Most of the crystals should dissolve within 5 to 10 minutes of mixing, producing a dark green liquid.



Copper Sulfate Foot Bath for Livestock


Copper Sulfate for Foot Bath & Treatment of Foot Rot in Sheep & Cattle

For Foot Bath, Copper Sulfate can be used in a 5% to 10% solution (by weight) with immersion 3 or 4 times per week or for a period of time as prescribed by your veterinarian. The Copper Sulfate foot bath solution should be changed every 150 to 200 cows depending on the concentration of copper sulfate, use of a pre-bath, and comtamination of the bath.  Determine the volume of the hoof bath and calculate the amount of Copper Sulfate carefully.  Do not use more Copper Sulfate than is recommended by your veterinarian.  By placing a clean water bath in front of the treatment bath, the animals will clean their hoofs to some extent and keep the hoof bath effective for a longer period of time.  If your veterinarian recommends hoof bath, use as an aid in the treatment of foot rot in cattle.  Hoof baths should only be part of an overall program that includes proper nutrition, regular hoof trimming, and hoof injury prevention.  Keep animals out of wet, muddy or stony areas where hoofs can soften and be injured.

Technical Specifications



Copper Sulphate-CuSO4 x 5H2O






















max. 2%










Water insoluble











(Acidity) Free H2SO4

> 0.10%



















































































<0.10 mg/kg












Dimension(crystal size)














~1.188 g/sm³








With the help of their experienced quality indian suppliers professionals, they have been able to offer Copper/Cupric Sulphate, Copper Sulphate Crystal, Copper in various ranges and models.


There are many applications of Copper Sulfate.

Copper Sulfate for Algae Control

Let Your Lake or Pond Shine by Using Copper Sulfate to Kill Algae



Apply at a rate of 3 to 6 pounds per acre foot of water (0.27 ppm to 0.54 ppm copper in the treated water). Apply as a uniform surface spray dissolved in at least 3 to 5 gallons of water using boat, plane or other pressurized spray device. Apply twice yearly or as needed. Determine the number of acre feet of water to be treated.


An acre foot of water is equal to one acre of water one foot deep which equals 328,000 gallons or 2,720,000 pounds.  An acre foot can also be defined as an area of water 660 feet X 66 feet X 1 foot depth.


How to Apply: Copper Sulfate can be applied to impounded water by the following methods:


1. Application by Dragging Under Water: By placing Copper Sulfate in a burlap or finer mesh bag, apply by dragging the bag attached to a boat or float so that bags are suspended in the top foot of water until the crystals are dissolved. Drag the bag of copper sulfate first near the shoreline and continue outward by moving as the boat travels in parallel lines about 20 to 100 feet apart until area has been treated or until 1/3to 1/2 of the surface area has been treated. Continue dragging bag over treated area until the required minimum dose is applied and all copper sulfate is dissolved. Determine the quantity of copper sulfate needed to treat the problem area following directions and precautions on the label.


2. Application by Spraying Solution on Water Surface: Dissolve the minimum required dose of  Copper Sulfate in water and spray the solution uniformly over the body of water. When spraying a solution of copper sulfate, mix copper sulfate in sufficient water to thoroughly spray the water surface. While the volume per surface acre depends on the type of spray equipment being used, spray volume should be approximately 20 to 500 or more gallons per acre of surface water. Several types of solutions and spraying equipment may be used. Observe previous cautions on the effect of copper sulfate solution on various metals in spraying containers.


3. Application by Slug Method: Make a dump of Copper Sulfate into the irrigation ditch or lateral at ¼ to 2 pounds per second of water per treatment. Repeat about every 2 weeks as needed. A dump is usually necessary every 5 to 30 miles depending on water hardness, alkalinity, and algae concentration. Copper Sulfate becomes less effective as the bicarbonate alkalinity increases. Its effectiveness is significantly reduced when the bicarbonate alkalinity exceeds about 150 ppm as calcium carbonate (CaCO3).


4. Application by Broadcasting: Dry Copper Sulfate can be broadcast on the water surface using a properly equipped boat. An air blower can be used to discharge these crystals at a specific rate over the surface of the water. When using this method, the wind direction is an important factor. Do not use this method unless completely familiar with this type of application.


5. Application by Spraying from Airplanes and Helicopters: Professional personnel licensed by the State Agricultural Extension Service are allowed to apply dry Copper Sulfate in some states. Rate may not exceed 6 pounds per acre foot of water.


6. Application by Injection in Water: A solution can be made with Copper Sulfate that can be injected in the water via a piping system.


CROP AND NON-CROP IRRIGATION CONVEYANCE SYSTEMS, DITCHES, CANALS AND LATERALS: Copper Sulfate Crystals control the Potamogeton pondweeds, leafy and sago.


How to Apply: Copper Sulfate can be applied to irrigation conveyance systems by the following methods:


1. Continuous Application Method: Using a continuous feeder, apply 1.6 to 2.4 pounds per cubic foot per second per day. These rates will produce 0.074 to 0.11 ppm copper in the treated water.

Note: For best control of leafy and sago pondweed, it is essential to begin copper sulfate additions when water is first turned into the system or ditch to be treated and continue throughout the irrigation season. Copper sulfate becomes less effective as the bicarbonate alkalinity increases. Its effectiveness is significantly reduced when the bicarbonate alkalinity exceeds about 150 ppm as calcium carbonate (CaCO3). Should copper sulfate fail to control pondweeds satisfactorily, it may be necessary to either treat the ditch with a suitable approved herbicide or use mechanical means to remove excess growth. In either case, resume copper sulfate addition as soon as possible.




Apply in the spring or early summer when algae and bacteria first appear. The dosages are variable and depend upon algae/bacteria species, water hardness, water temperature, amount of algae and bacteria present as well as whether the water is clear, turbid, flowing or static. Preferably, the water should be clear with temperatures above 60º F. Higher dosages are required at lower water temperatures, higher algae and bacteria concentrations and for hard waters. For each 7,500 gals. of water, dissolve ¼ lb. Copper Sulfate  in one gallon of water. Pour the solution into the water to be treated. Several application points speed up dispersal. Static water requires less chemical than does flowing water. If uncertain about the dosage, begin with a lower does and increase until control is achieved or until the maximum allowable level of copper has been reached.




Apply 1 to 2 lbs. of Copper Sulfate Crystal per 60,000 gals. (8,000 cu. ft.) of water. This will result in a concentration of 0.5 to 1.0 ppm of dissolved copper. Dissolve the required amount of copper sulfate in a plastic container and pour the solution into the pool. Use the higher rate where visible algae are present. For maintenance dosages, use the lower rate. Repeat the lower rate to control the recurrence of algae and avoid the buildup of copper. Copper Sulfate may be used to help control pool odors and algae during the winter months. Apply the higher rate while the pool is not being used during the winter. Treated pool effluent should not be discharged where it will drain into lakes, streams, ponds, or public water.




Calculate water volume as follows:

1. Obtain surface area by measuring regular shaped ponds or mapping of irregular ponds or by reference to previously recorded engineering data or maps.

2. Calculate average depth by sounding in a regular pattern and taking the mean of these readings or by reference to previously obtained data.

3. Multiply surface area in feet by average depth in feet to obtain cubic feet of water volume.

4. Multiply surface area in acres by average depth in feet to obtain total acre-feet of water volume.


Calculate weight of water to be treated as follows:


1. Multiply the volume in cubic feet by 62.44 to obtain total pounds of water, or


2. Multiply the volume in acre feet by 2,720,000 to obtain pounds of water

Calculations of active ingredient to be added:


To calculate the amount of Copper Sulfate needed to achieve the recommended concentration


Multiply the weight of water by the recommended concentration of Copper Sulfate. Since recommended concentrations are normally given in parts per million (ppm), it will first be necessary to convert the value in parts per million to a decimal equivalent. For example, 2 ppm is the same as 0.000002 when used in this calculation. Therefore, to calculate the amount of Copper Sulfate Pentahydrate to treat 1 acre-foot of water with 2 ppm Copper Sulfate, the calculation would be as follows: 0.000002 x 2,720,000 = 5.44 lbs. Copper Sulfate Pentahydrate.


Calculation of water flow in ditches, streams, and irrigation systems:

The amount of water flow in cubic feet per second is found by means of a weir or other measuring device.


NOTE: If treated water is to be used as potable water (after further treatment), the residual metallic copper content must not exceed 1.0 ppm (4 ppm copper sulfate pentahydrate).


Eliminating Roots Using Cupric Sulfate

Guaranteed Satisfaction


To control root growth in Commercial, Institutional, and Municipal Sewers use as follows:




SEWERS: Use 2 pounds of Cupric Sulfate every 6 to 12 months, applied into each junction or terminal manhole as a preventative measure. Add copper sulfate during periods of reduced flow; however, some flow is essential. If reduced flow due to root masses is observed, but flow has not completely stopped, add the copper sulfate in the next manhole above the reduced flow area. If completely blocked, use a rod to penetrate the mass so some flow begins before treatment.




STORM DRAINS: Use 2 pounds of Cupric Sulfate per drain per year. Apply during a period of light water flow. In dry weather, introduce a flow with a hose. If storm drains become almost plugged, repeat treatment 3 or 4 times at 2-week intervals.




SEWER PUMPS AND FORCE MAINS: Place 2 pounds of Cupric Sulfate in a cloth bag at the storage well inlet. Repeat as needed.




To control root growth in Residential or Household Sewer Systems use as follows:




Make treatment when the reduced flow rate thought to be caused by root growth is first noticed. Do not delay until stoppage has occurred because some flow is needed to move copper sulfate to root growth. When roots accumulate sufficient copper sulfate to cause death, root decay will begin and flow rate should increase in 3 to 4 weeks. Since copper sulfate treatment usually kills only those roots in the pipe, roots will regrow, requiring follow-up treatments. Generally make a treatment in the spring after plants begin to grow, with a second treatment during late summer or early fall each year, and/or any time when reduced flow possibly caused by root growth is noted.








In household sewers use 2 to 6 pounds of crystals twice yearly. Add Copper Sulfate to sewer line by pouring about ½ pound into the toilet bowl nearest to the sewer line and flush, repeating process until recommended dose has been added, or remove cleanout plug and pour entire recommended quantity directly into the sewer line, replacing plug and flush toilet several times. Do not attempt to flush Briquette size down the toilet as blockage may result.


If system is equipped with a septic tank, copper sulfate will be precipitated in the septic tank and little will pass into the absorption drain field. To treat drain field pipes, add 2 to 6 pounds of Copper Sulfate to distribution box located between the septic tank and the drain field. If distribution box does not have an opening, it would be advisable to install a cleanout plug opening into the outlet pipe from the septic tank leading to the drain field for effective root control in the drain field pipes.




NOTE: Do not apply Copper Sulfate through sink or tub drains as it will corrode those metal drains.




NOTE: Laboratory studies have shown that copper sulfate added to an active 300 gallon septic tank at 2, 4 and 6 pounds per treatment temporarily reduced bacterial action, but it returned to normal 15 days after treatment. Trees and shrubbery growing near a treated line normally will have only a small portion of their roots in contact with the copper sulfate that primarily kills only those roots inside the pipe, thus not affecting the growing plants.




State law prohibits the use of copper sulfate in sewage systems in the State of Connecticut and in the following counties of California:




 Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma

Industrial Area

Copper compounds

Copper carbonate

Copper sulphate/blue vitriol/blue copperas

Uses of Copper Compounds: Table B - Plant Diseases Amenable to Control by Copper Fungicides

Plant Common name Pathogen
Almond Shot hole Clasterosporium carpophilum
  Rust Puccinia pruni-spinosae
  Blossom wilt Sclerotinia laxa and Sclerotinia fructigena
  Leaf curl Taphrina deformans
Aloe Anthracnose Colletotrichum agaves
Antirrhinum Rust Puccinia antirrhini
Apple Pink disease Corticium salmonicolor
  Fireblight Erwinia amylovora
  Bitter rot Glomerella cingulata
  Canker Nectria galligena
  Blotch Phyllosticta solitaria
  Black rot Physalospora obtusa
  Blossom wilt Sclerotinia laxa
  Scab Venturia inaequalis
Apricot Shot hole Clasterosporium carpophilum
  Rust Puccinia pruni-spinosae
  Blossom wilt Sclerotinia laxa and Sclerotinia fructigena
Areca Nut Thread blight Corticium koleroga
Arrowroot Banded leaf blight Corticium solani
Artichoke (Globe)   Ramularia cynarae
Asparagus Rust Puccinia asparagi
Avocado Fruit spot Cercospora purpurea
  Anthracnose (Black spot) Glomerella cingulata
  Bacterial rot Pseudomonas syringae
  Scab Sphaceloma perseae
 Azalea  Flower spot  Ovulinia azaleae
 Banana  Black rot (Die back)  Botryodiplodia theobromae
   Helminthosporiosis  Helminthosporium sp.
   Sigatoka disease (Leaf spot)  Mycosphaerella musicola
 Barley  Snow damage  Typhula itoana
   Covered smut  Ustilago hordei
 Bean (Broad)  Leaf spot  Asochyta pisi
   Chocolate spot  Botrytis cinerea
   Rust  Uromyces fabae
 Bean (French and Runner)  Anthracnose  Colletotrichum lindemuthianum
   Powdery mildew  Erysiphe polygoni
   Halo blight  Pseudomonas medicaginis var phaseolicola
   Rust Uromyces appendiculatus
   Common blight  Xanthomonas phaseoli
 Begonia  Mildew  Oidium begoniae
 Betel  Leaf spot  Bacterium betle
   Leaf spot  Glomeralla cingulata
   Foot rot  Phytophthora colocasiae
   Leaf rot  Phytophthora parasitica
 Blackberry  Cane spot  Elsinoe veneta
 Blueberry  Powdery mildew  Microsphaera alni var. vaccinii
   Leaf rust  Pucciniastrum myrtilli
   Fruit rot  Sclerotinia vaccinii-corymbosi
 Brassicas  Damping off  Oipidium brassicae
   Downy mildew  Peronospora parasitica
   Black leg (Canker)  Phoma lingam
   Black rot  Xanthomonas campestris
 Cacao  Brown pod rot (Die back)  Botryodiplodia theobromae
   Witches' broom  Marasmius perniciosus
   Black pod rot  Phytophthora palmivora
 Calendula  Leaf spot  Cercospora calendulae
 Carnation  Ring spot  Didymellina dianthi
   Leaf spot  Septoria dianthi
   Rust  Uromyces dianthi
  Carrot Blight  Alternaria dauci
  Bacterial soft rot  Bacterium carotovorum
   Leaf spot  Cercospora carotae
 Cassava  Leaf spot  Cercospora henningsii
 Castor oil  Leaf spot  Phyllosticta bosensis
 Cattleya  Black rot  Phythium ultimum
 Celery  Blight  Cercospora apii
   Leaf spot  Septoria apii and Septoria apii graveolentis
 Cherry  Shot hole  Clasterosporium carpophilum
   Leaf spot  Coccomyces hiemalis
   Bitter rot  Glomerella cingulata
   Leaf scorch  Gnomonia erythrostoma
   Bacterial canker  Pseudomonas mors-prunorum
   Brown rot (Blossom wilt)  Sclerotinia laxa and Sclerotinia fructigena
   Scab  Venturia cerasi
 Chestnut  Blight  Endothia parasitica
   Ink disease  Phytophthora cambivora
 Chilli  Blight (Leaf spot)  Cercospora capsici
   Blight (Collar rot)  Phytophthora capsici
   Bacterial spot  Xanthomonas vesicatoria
 Chrysanthemum  Mildew  Oidium chrysanthemi
   Rust  Puccinia chrysanthemi
   Leaf spot Septoria chrysanthemella 
 Cinchona  Damping off  Pythium vexans
 Cineraria    Alternaria senecionis
 Citronella  Collar rot  
 Citrus  Sooty mould  Aithaloderma citri
   Thread blight  Corticium koleroga
   Melanose  Diaporthe citri
   Mal secco  Deuterophoma tracheiphila
   Scab  Elsinoe fawcetti
   Anthracnose (Wither tip)  Gloeosporium limetticola
   Sooty blotch  Leptothyrium pomi
   Black spot  Phoma citricarpa
   Brown rot  Phytophthora spp.
   Black pit  Pseudomonas syringae
   Septoria spot  Septoria depressa
   Canker  Xanthomonas citri
 Coffee  Brown eyespot  Cercospora coffeicola
   Thread blight (Black rot)  Corticium koleroga
   Anthracnose (Die back)  Glomerella cingulata
   Rust  Hemileia vastatrix
   Berry disease  Colletotrichum coffeanum
 Conifers  Blight  Cercospora thujina
   Coryneum blight  Coryneum berckmanii
   Canker  Coryneum cardinale
   Fusiform rust  Cronartium fusiforme
   Blister rust  Cronartium ribicola
   Leaf cast (of Kauri Pine)  Hendersonula agathi
   Needle cast (of Scots Pine)  Lophodermium pinastri
   Phomopsis blight  Phomopsis juniperovora
   Needle cast (of Douglas Fir)  Rhabdocline pseudotsugae
   Root rot  Rhizoctonia cROCCORRXum
 Cotton  Alternarii disease  Alternaria gossypii and Alternaria
   Sore shin  Corticium solani
 Cowpea  Scab  Cladosporium vignae
 Cucurbits  Leaf blight  Alternaria cucumerina
   Wet rot  Choanephora cucurbitarum
   Anthracnose  Colletotrichum lagenarium
   Wilt  Erwinia tracheiphila
   Powdery mildew  Erysiphe cichoracearum
   Black rot  Mycosphaerella citrullina
   Stem end rot  Physalospora rhodina
   Downy mildew  Pseudoperonospora cubensis
 Currant (Ribes)  Leaf spot  Mycosphaerella grossulariae and Mycosphaerella ribis
   Leaf spot  Pseudopeziza ribis
 Cytisus  Die back  Ceratophorum setosum
 Daffodil  White mould  Ramularia vallisumbrosae
   Fire  Sclerotinia polyblastis
 Dahlia  Leaf spot  Phyllosticta dahliicola and Entyloma dahliae
 Dalo  Leaf spot  Phytophthora colocasiae
 Delphinium  Mildew  Erysiphe polygoni
 Derris  Leaf spot  Colletotrichum derridis
 Dogwood (Cornus)  Spot anthracnose  Elsinoe corni
 Egg Plant  Leaf spot  Ascochyta melongenae
   Damping off  Corticium solani
 Fig  Leaf fall and Fruit rot  Cercospora bolleana
   Rust  Cerotelium fici
   Thread blight  Corticium koleroga
   Canker  Phomopsis cinerescens
   Blight  Phizoctonia microsclerotia
 Filbert  Bud blight  Xanthomonas corylina
 Fruit trees  Crown gall  Bacterium tumefaciens
 Gambier  White root rot  Fomes lignosus
 Gardenia  Canker  Phomopsis gardenia
 Gerbera  Leaf spot  Cercospora sp.
 Ginseng  Blight  Alternaria panax
 Gladiolus  Corm rot  Botrytis gladiolorum
 Gooseberry  Die back  Botrytis cinerea
   Leaf spot  Mycosphaerella grossulariae
   Cluster cup rust  Puccinia pringshemiana
   American mildew  Sphaerotheca mors-uvae
 Grasses  Snow mould  Calonectria graminicola
   Red thread  Corticium fusiforme
   Brown patch of lawns  Rhizoctonia and Holminthosporium spp.
   Stripe smut  Ustilago striiformis
 Ground nut  Leaf spot  Cercospora arachidicola and Cercospora personate
   Stem rot (Southern blight)  Sclerotium rolfsii
 Guava  Leaf spot  Cephaleuros mycoidea
   Thread blight  Corticium koleroga
   Rust  Puccinia psidii
 Hellebore    Coniothyrium hellebori
 Hollyhock  Rust  Puccinia malvacearum
 Hop  Downy mildew  Pseudoperonospora humuli
   Powdery mildew  Sphaerotheca humuli
 Hydrangea  Mildew  Oidium hortensiae
 Leek  Mildew  Peronospora destructor
   White tip  Phytophthora porri
 Lettuce  Downy mildew  Bremia lactucae
   Ring spot  Marssonina panattoniana
Lily  Blight  Botrytis elliptica
 Maize  Downy mildew  Sclerospora philippinensis
 Mango  Red rust  Cephaleuros virescens
   Anthracnose  Colletotrichum gloeosporioides
   Scab  Elsinoe mangiferae
   Bacterial black spot  Erwinia mangiferae
   Anthracnose  Gloeosporium mangiferae
   Powdery mildew  Oidium mangiferae
 Medlar  Scab  Venturia eriobotryae
 Millet (Italian)  Smut  Ustilago crameri
 Mushroom  White mould  Mycogone perniciosa
   Bacterial blotch(Brown blotch)  Pseudomonas tolaasi
 Nectarine  Shot hole  Clasterosporium carpophilum
   Rust  Puccinia pruni-spinosae
   Blossom wilt  Sclerotinia laxa and Sclerotinia fructigena
   Leaf curl  Taphrina deformans
 Oats  Loose smut  Ustilago avanae
 Olive  Leaf spot  Cycloconium oleaginum
 Onion  Downy mildew  Peronospora destructor
 Orchids  Fusarium  Macrophoma and Diplodia spp.
 Paeony  Blight  Botrytis peaoniae
   Bud death  Sphaeropsis paeonia
 Palm ( Palmyra)  Leaf spot  Pestalotia palmarum
 Passion fruit  Brown spot  Alternaria passiflorae
   Grease spot  Pseudomonas passiflorae
 Pawpaw  Leaf spot  Ascochyta caricae
   Anthracnose (Fruit rot)  Colletotrichum gloeosporioides
   Powdery mildew  Oidium caricae
   Hard rot  Phytophthora parasitica
 Peach  Shot hole  Clasterosporium carpophilum
   Rust  Puccinia pruni-spinosae
   Blossom wilt  Sclerotinia laxa and Sclerotinia fructigena
   Leaf curl  Taphrina deformans
 Pear  Scab ( America)  Cladosporium effusum
   Thread blight  Corticium koleroga
   Firebiiglit  Erwinia amylovora
   Bitter rot  Glomerella cingulata
   Leaf spot (Leaf speck)  Mycosphaerella sentina
   Scab  Venturia pirina
 Pecan  Scab  Cladosporium effusum
   Thread blight  Corticium koleroga
   Vein spot  Gnomonia nerviseda
   Liver spot  Gnomonia caryae var. pecanae
 Pepper(Red)  See Chilli)  
 Persimmon  Canker  Phomopsis diospyri
 Pineapple  Heart or stern rot  Phytophthora parasitica
 Piper betle  (See Betel)  
 Plantain  Black tip  Helminthosporium torulosum
 Plum  Shot hole  Clasterosporium carpophilum
   Black rot  Dibotryon morbosum
   Bacterial canker  Pseudomonas mors-prunorum
   Wilt  Pseudomonas prunicola
   Rust  Puccinia pruni-spinosae
   Brown rot  Sclerotinia fructigena
   Blossom wilt  Sclerotinia laxa
   Watery rot (Pocket plums)  Taphrina pruni
   Bacterial spot  Xanthomonas pruni
 Poplar    Septogloeum populiperdun
 Poppy  Downy mildew  Peronospora arborescens
 Potato  Early blight  Alternaria solani
   Grey mould  Botrytis cinerea
   Blight (Late blight)  Phytophthora infestans
   Dry rot  Sclerotium rolfsii
 Quince  Brown rot  Sclerotinia fructigena
   Shot hole  Clasterosporium carpophilum
 Raspberry  Spur blight  Didymella applanata
   Cane spot (Anthracnose)  Elsinoe veneta
   Cane wilt  Leptosphaeria coniothyrium
 Rhododendron  Leaf scorch (Bud blast)  Pycnostysanus azaleae
 Rhubarb  Downy mildew  Peronospora jaapiana
 Rice  Brown spot  Ophiobolus miyabeanus
   Blast  Piricularia oryzae
 Rose  Black spot  Diplocarpon rosae
   Downy mildew  Peronospora sparsa
   Rust  Phragmidium mucronatum
   Leaf spot (Anthracnose)  Sphaceloma rosarum
   Mildew Sphaerotheca pannosa
 Rubber  American leaf disease  Dothidella ulei
   White root rot  Fomes lignosus
   Leaf disease  Helminthosporium heveae
   Stem disease  Pestalotia palmarum
   Abnormal leaf fall  Phytophthora palmivora
 Rye grass  Blind seed  Phialea temulenta
 Safflower  Rust  Puccinia carthami
 Seedlings  Damping off  Pythium debaryanum, Pythium and Rhizoctonia spp, Sclerotinia sclerotiorum,etc
 Sorghum  Covered smut  Sphacelotheca sorghi
 Spinach  Leaf spot  Heterosporium variabile
   Downy mildew  Peronospora effusa
 Spindle tree  Mildew  Oidium euonymi-japonicae
 Stock  Leaf spot  Alternaria raphani
 Strawberry  Leaf spot  Mycosphaerella fragariae
 Sugar beet  Leaf spot  Cercospora beticola
   Downy mildew  Peronospora schactii
 Sunflower  Rust  Puccinia helianthi
   Wilt  Sclerotinia sclerotiorum
 Sweet potato  Wilt  Fusarium spp.
 Taro  Leaf spot  Phytophthora colocasiae
 Tea  Black rot (Die back)  Botryodiplodia theobromae
   Red rust  Cephaleuros niycoidea
   Blister blight  Exobasidium vexans
   Grey blight  Pestalotia theae
 Tobacco  Brown spot (Red rust)  Alternaria longipes
   Leaf spot  Ascochyta nicotianae
   Frog eye  Cercospora nicotianae
   Blue mould (Downy mildew)  Peronospora tabacina
   Wildfire  Pseudomonas tabacum
 Tomato  Early blight  Alternaria solani
   Leaf mould  Cladosporium fulvum
   Anthracnose  Colletotrichum phomoides
   Fruit rot  Didymella lycopersici
   Mildew  Leveilluia taurica
   Fruit rot  Phytophthora capsici
   Foot rot  Phytophthora cryptogea
   Blight (Late blight)  Phytophthora infestans
   Leaf spot  Septoria lycopersici
   Grey leaf spot  Stemphylium solani
   Bacterial spot  Xanthomonas vesicatoria
 Tuberose  Blight  Botrytis elliptica
 Tung  Thread blight  Corticium koleroga
 Veronica    Septoria exotici
 Vine (Grape)  "Coitre"  Coniothyrium diplodiella
   Anthracnose  Elsinoe ampelina
   Black rot  Guignardia bidwellii
   Leaf spot  Isariopsis fuckelli
   Bitter rot  Melanconium fuligineum
   Angular leaf spot  Mycosphaerella angulata
   Downy mildew  Plasmopara viticola
   Totbrenner  Pseudopeziza tracheiphila
   Powdery mildew  Uncinula necator
 Vine (Sultana)  Sooty dew  Exosporium sultanae
 Viola  Leaf spot  Centrospora acerina
 Violet  Scab  Sphaceloma violae
 Walnut  Ring spot  Ascochyta juglandis
   Anthracnose (Blotch)  Gnomonia leptostyla
   Downy leaf spot  Microstroma juglandis
   Blight  Xanthomonas juglandis
 Wheat  Root rot  Gibberella zeae
   Rust  Puccinia spp
   Snow damage  Pythium sp.
   Bunt Tilletia caries and Tilletia faetida 
 Willow  Black canker  Physalospora miyabeana
   Scab  Venturia chlorospora
 Zinnia  Wilt  Sclerotinia sclerotiorum



Uses of Copper Compounds: Table A - Uses of Copper Sulphate

Classification Applications
Major uses Preparation of Bordeaux and Burgundy mixtures for use as fungicides
  Manufacture of other copper fungicides such as copper-lime dust, tribasic
  copper sulphate, copper carbonate and cuprous oxide
  Manufacture of insecticides such as copper arsenite and Paris green
  Control of fungus diseases (see below)
  Correction of copper deficiency in soils
  Correction of copper deficiency in animals
  Growth stimulant for fattening pigs and broiler chickens
  Molluscicide for the destruction of slugs and snails, particularly the snail host of the liver fluke
Other uses Seed dressing
  Soil steriliser, e.g. Cheshunt compound (a mixture of copper sulphate and ammonium carbonate) to prevent "damping-off" disease of tomato, etc.
  Control and prevention of foot rot in sheep and cattle
  Bacteriastat for addition to sheep dips
  Disinfectant in prevention of the spread of swine erysepelas and white scours in calves
  Control of scum in farm ponds
  Plant nutrient in rice fields
  Preservative for wooden posts, wooden buildings, etc.
  Preservative for wooden fruit boxes, planting baskets and other containers
  Ingredient of vermin repellents, e.g. for application to bark of trees against rabbits
  Stimulant of latex yield on rubber plantations
  Protection against algal growths on flower pots
Public Health and Medicine  
  Destruction of algal blooms in reservoirs and swimming pools
  Prevention of the spread of athletes foot in warm climates, by incorporation in the flooring mixture of swimming baths
  Control of bilharzia in tropical countries, as a molluscicide
  Prevention of malaria, in the preparation of Paris green for use against mosquito larvae
  Antiseptic and germicide against fungus infections
  Catalyst or raw material for the preparation of copper catalysts used in the manufacture of pharmaceutical products
Adhesives Preservative in casein and other glues
  Additive to bookbinding pastes and glues, for insecticidal purposes
  Additive to animal and silicate glues to give water resistance
Building Timber preservative and in the preparation of other wood preservatives, e.g. oil based copper naphthenates and water based copper/chrome/arsenic for the
  prevention of woodworms and wood rots
  Ingredient of plaster to prevent fungus infection, e.g. to prevent the spread of dry rot
  Ingredient of concrete, both as a colouring matter and as an antiseptic, e.g. for use in and around swimming pools
  Modification of the setting of concrete
  Protection against lichens, moulds and similar growths on asbestos cement roofing and other building materials
  Control of the growth of tree roots in sewers
Chemical Preparation of catalysts for use in many industries
  Purification of gases, e.g. removal of hydrogen chloride and hydrogen sulphide
  Precipitation promoter in purifying zinc sulphate solutions
  Precipitation of alkaloids as double salts from crude extracts
  Source of other copper compounds such as copper carbonate silicate/arsenite/
  aceto-arsenite/resinate/stearate/tartrate/oleate naphthenate/chromate/chlorate
  /alginate/fluoride/hydroxide, cuprous oxide/chloride/cyanide and
  cuprammonium compounds
 Decorative trades  Colouring glass
   Colouring cement and plaster
   Colouring ceramic wares
   Alteration of metal colours, e.g. darkening of zinc, colouring aluminium
 Dyestuffs  Reagent in the preparation of dyestuffs intermediates
   Catalyst or raw material for the preparation of copper catalysts, e.g. preparation of phenols from diazo compounds, preparation of phthalocyanine dyes
 Leather and  Mordant in dyeing
   Reagent in tanning processes
 Metal and  Electrolyte in copper refining
 electrical  Electrolyte in copper plating and electro forming
   Electrolytic manufacture of cuprous compounds, e.g. cuprous oxide
   Constituent of the electrodes and electrolytes in batteries
   Electrolyte in the manufacture of copper powder
   Electrolyte in aluminium plating and anodising
   Copper coating steel wire, prior to wire drawing
   Pickling copper wire, etc., prior to enamelling
   Providing a suitable surface for marking out iron and steel
 Mining  Flotation reagent in the concentration of ores, e.g. zinc blende
 Paint  Raw material for the manufacture of copper naphthenate and other copper compounds for use in anti-fouling paints
   Preparation of certain varnish or paint dryers, e.g. copper oleate, copper stearate
   Preparation of certain pigments, e.g. copper chromate, copper ferrocyanide, copper phthalocyanine
 Printing  Etching agent for process engraving
   Electrolyte in the preparation of electrotype
   Ingredient of printing inks
 Synthetic rubber  Preparation of catalysts used in cracking certain gaseous and liquid petroleum
 and petroleum  Fractions
   Preparation of cuprous chloride, used in the purification of butadiene and in the separation of acetylene derivatives
   Preparation of catalysts used in chlorinating rubber latex
   Purification of petroleum oils
 Textiles  Preparation of copper compounds for rot-proofing canvas and other fabrics
   Rot-proofing sandbags
   Mordant, especially in calico printing
   Cuprammonium process for the production of rayon
   Production of aniline black and diazo colours for dyeing
   "After coppering" to increase the fastness of dyes
   Catalyst in the manufacture of cellulose ethers and in cellulose acetylation
 Miscellaneous  Improving the burning qualities of coke
   Laboratory analytical work
   Ingredient of laundry marking ink
   Dyeing of hair and horn
   Ingredient of hair dyes of the phenylene diamine or pyrogallol type
   Preparation of chlorophyll as a colouring material for food stuffs
   Imparting a green colour in fireworks
   Activator in the preparation of active carbons
   Preservative for wood pulp
   Preservation of fishing nets and hides on trawls
   Obtaining a blue-black finish on steel
   Treatment of carbon brushes
   Ingredient of the solution used for preserving plant specimens in their natural colours
  Impregnation in fruit wrapping papers to prevent storage rots
Useful Area

Uses of Copper Compounds: Agricultural Uses

Copper compounds have their most extensive employment in agriculture where the first recorded use was in 1761, when it was discovered that seed grains soaked in a weak solution of copper sulphate inhibited seed-borne fungi. By 1807 the steeping of cereal seeds in a copper sulphate solution for a limited time and then drying them with hydrated lime became the standard farming practice for controlling stinking smut or bunt of wheat, which by then was endemic wherever wheat was grown. Flour milled from bunted wheat had to be fed to animals or sold cheaply to ginger bread makers who had found a way of masking its bad taste and color with ginger and treacle. Within a few decades, so general and effective had become the practice of treating seed grains with copper sulphate that the appearance of more than a few bunted ears in a field of wheat was looked upon as a sign of neglect on the part of the farmer. So well have copper compounds controlled bunt that today this seed-borne disease is no longer of any economic importance.

The greatest breakthrough for copper salts undoubtedly came in the 1880's when the French scientist Millardet, while looking for a cure for downy mildew disease of vines in the Bordeaux district of France, chanced to notice that those vines, bordering the highways and which had been daubed with a paste of copper sulphate and lime in water in order to make the grapes unattractive to passers-by, appeared freer of downy mildew. This chance observation led to experiments with mixtures of copper sulphate, lime and water and in 1885 Millardet announced to the world that he had found a cure for the dreaded mildew. This mixture became known as Bordeaux mixture and saw the commencement of protective crop spraying.

Within a year or two of the discovery of Bordeaux mixture, Burgundy mixture, which also takes its name from the district of France in which it was first used, appeared on the scene. Burgundy mixture is prepared from copper sulphate and sodium carbonate (soda crystals) and is analogous to Bordeaux mixture.

Trials with Bordeaux and Burgundy mixtures against various fungus diseases of plants soon established that many plant diseases could be prevented with small amounts of copper applied at the right time and in the correct manner. From then onwards copper fungicides have been indispensable and many thousands of tons are used annually all over the world to prevent plant diseases.

As a generalization, soils would be considered copper deficient if they contain less than two parts per million available copper in the context of plant health. However, where the soil contains less than five parts per million available copper, symptoms of copper deficiency may be expected in animals. The increasing use of chemical fertilizers which contain little or no copper are denuding soils of readily available copper and creating a deficiency of the element in plants and through them in animals. Copper compounds are now being added to the ever increasing copper deficient soils either direct or in combination with commercial fertilizers. This is particularly the case where the fertilizers are rich in nitrogen and phosphorus. Animals grazing on copper deficient pastures or obtaining an inadequate amount of copper through their normal diet will benefit from mineral supplements containing copper.

Copper sulphate, because of its fungicidal and bactericidal properties, has been employed as a disinfectant on farms against storage rots and for the control and prevention of certain animal diseases, such as foot rot of sheep and cattle.

Uses of Copper Compounds: Copper Sulphate's Role in Agriculture

Copper sulphate has many agricultural uses (see below ) but the following are the more important ones:

  • Preparation of Bordeaux and Burgundy mixtures on the farm
  • Control of fungus diseases
  • Correction of copper deficiency in soils
  • Correction of copper deficiency in animals
  • Stimulation of growth for fattening pigs and broiler chickens
  • A molluscicide for the destruction of slugs and snails, particularly the snail host of the liver fluke

Preparation of Bordeaux and Burgundy Mixtures on the Farm

Because of their importance to farmers, instructions concerning the dissolving of copper sulphate and the preparation of both Bordeaux and Burgundy mixtures have been included in the text.

Dissolving Copper Sulphate

Iron or galvanised vessels must not be used for the preparation of copper sulphate solutions. Plastic vessels, now freely available, are light and very convenient. To make a strong solution, hang a jute sack of copper sulphate so that the bottom of it dips a few inches only in the water. The copper sulphate will dissolve overnight. Copper sulphate dissolves in cold water to the extent of about 3 kg per 10 litres. If more than this is placed in the sack described above, then a saturated solution will be obtained and it may be used without serious error on the basis that it contains 3 kg copper sulphate per 10 litres.

Preparation of Bordeaux Mixture

Bordeaux mixture is prepared in various strengths from copper sulphate, hydrated lime (calcium hydroxide) and water. The conventional method of describing its composition is to give the weight of copper sulphate, the weight of hydrated lime and the volume of water in that order. The percentage of the weight of copper sulphate to the weight of water employed determines the concentration of the Bordeaux mixture. Thus a 1% Bordeaux mixture, which is the normal, would have the formula 1 :1:100the first 1 representing 1 kg copper sulphate, the second representing 1 kg hydrated lime, and the 100 representing 100 litres (100 kg) water. As copper sulphate contains 25% copper metal, the copper content of a 1% Bordeaux mixture would be 0-25 % copper. The quantity of lime used can be reduced considerably. Actually 1 kg copper sulphate requires only 0.225 kg of chemically pure hydrated lime to precipitate all the copper. Good proprietary brands of hydrated lime are now freely available but, as even these deteriorate on storage, it is safest not to exceed a ratio of 2:1. i.e. a 1:0.5:100 mixture.

In preparing Bordeaux mixture, the copper sulphate is dissolved in half the required amount of water in a wooden or plastic vessel. The hydrated lime is mixed with the balance of the water in another vessel. The two "solutions" are then poured together through a strainer into a third vessel or spray tank.

Preparation of a 1% Burgundy Mixture

Dissolve separately 1 kg copper sulphate in 50 litres water and 125 kg washing soda (or 0.475 kg soda ash) in 50 litres water and slowly add the soda solution to the copper sulphate solution with stirring. Control of fungus diseases

Bordeaux and Burgundy mixtures have been found effective in controlling a whole host of fungus diseases of plants. Normally a 0.5 % to 1 % Bordeaux or Burgundy mixture applied at 2 to 3 week intervals suffices to control most copper-susceptible fungi.

Generally, once the fungus spores have alighted on the host plant and penetrated the tissues it is difficult to control them. The principle of control must in most cases depend on protection, ie preventing the fungus spores from entering the host tissues. Copper fungicides are noted for their tenacity and for this reason, are much to be preferred in areas of high rainfall.

The simplest method of control is to apply a protective coating of Bordeaux or Burgundy mixture (or other copper fungicides) to the susceptible parts of the plant, so that spores alighting on them come in contact with the protective film of copper and are killed instantly. It is thus important to remember that the first spraying must ideally be made just before the disease is expected and continued at intervals throughout the susceptible period. For this reason it is important to take advantage of the early warning schemes which are in operation to ensure greater accuracy of the timing of the first spraying.

It must also be remembered that fungi are plants and that control measures that will kill them may not always leave the host plant unaffected. The use of too concentrated a fungicide mixture must, therefore, be guarded against, particularly for the early sprays.

Copper fungicides have been reported effective against numerous plant diseases. A list, by no means exhaustive, of some 300 diseases that have been found amenable to control by copper fungicides, appears in Table B.

Correction of Copper Deficiency in Soils

Where copper deficiency has been confirmed by soil analysis or field diagnosis, whether in plants or animals, it can be corrected very simply either by applying 50 kg copper sulphate per hectare in the form of a fertiliser before sowing or by spraying the foliage of the young cereal plants, when they are about 150 mm high, with 750 grams copper sulphate (dissolved in from 400 to 2,000 litres water) per hectare. The soil application has generally given the better results and has the advantage that it may have a residual effect for more than ten years. The foliar application has to be given annually to each crop. An alternative is to add a copper containing slag (normally about 1% to 2 % copper) at a rate of a tonne to the hectare.

Correction of Copper Deficiency in Animals

A method of correcting copper deficiency in livestock is to treat the soil on which animals graze. For example, in Australia and New Zealand swayback in lambs is being prevented by top dressing copper deficient pastures with 5 to 10 kg copper sulphate per hectare some time before lambing begins.

Other methods include drenching periodically with a copper sulphate solution; incorporating copper sulphate in salt and other animal licks; or by what is probably the most general method, incorporating copper sulphate along with other minerals and vitamins in the form of carefully blended supplements in the feeding stuffs.

Stimulation of Growth for Fattening Pigs and Broiler Chickens

The inclusion of up to as much as 0.1% copper sulphate in the diet of bacon and pork pigs and broiler chickens stimulates appetite and produces increased growth rate with a marked improvement in feed conversion.

A molluscicide for the destruction of slugs and snails, particularly the snail host of the liver fluke. All likely habitats of the liver fluke snail should be treated with copper sulphate at the rate of 25 kg to the hectare at least twice a year in June and August (northern hemisphere) or December and February (southern hemisphere).


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