Comparative efficacy of different weed management strategies in wheat

Muhammad Ehsan Safdar1*, Muhammad Asif1, Amjed Ali1, Ahsan Aziz1, Muhammad Yasin1, Mudassir Aziz1, Muhammad Afzal1, and Asghar Ali2

Weed management programs should focus on environmental safety along with benefits to the farmer. We evaluated the effects of various weed control methods: ‘daab’ practice (stale seed bed technique), manual hoeing, and the chemical method (mixture of Buctril Super 60EC [bromoxynil + MCPA]0.45 kg ai ha-1 and Puma Super 75EW [fenoxaprop-P-ethyl]0.75 kg ai ha-1) in combination with different planting geometries: 22.5 cm apart single row, 22.5 cm apart crisscross double row, 30 cm apart single row and broadcast sowings on weed control and grain yield of spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) var. Sehar 2006 at the University College of Agriculture, University of Sargodha, Pakistan, during the winters of 2009 and 2010. The chemical method, manual hoeing and ‘daab’ practice gave 71.44%, 30.69% and 28.60% weed controls resulting in 11.79%, 11.09% and 4.95% increases in grain yield above that of the weedy control, respectively. The 22.5 cm apart single row sowing in combination with chemical weed control proved to be the best regarding weed control (87.23%), grain yield (4073 kg ha-1) and number of fertile tillers m-2 (509.5), whereas wheat plant height (108.2 cm), number of grains spike-1 (45.90) and 1000 grain weight (45.23 g) were higher in 30 cm apart single row sowing in interaction with manual hoeing. Grain yield showed a significant negative (b = -152.8) and positive (b = 3.21) correlation with weed biomass and fertile tillers m-2, respectively. Chemical weed control, ‘daab’ practice and manual hoeing gave cost:benefit ratios of 2.50, 1.95 and 1.14, respectively. Although the chemical method seems the most profitable, the ‘daab’ practice was found to be the most advantageous if environmental concerns were taken into consideration.

Keywords: weed control, sowing pattern, 'daab' practice, crisscross sowing, yield components.
1University of Agriculture, University of Sargodha, Sargodha, Punjab, Pakistan. *Corresponding author (ehsan_safdar2002@yahoo.com).
2University of Agriculture, Department of Agronomy, Faisalabad, Punjab, Pakistan.