Reduced doses of a sulfonylurea herbicide for weed management in wheat fields of Punjab, Pakistan

Abdul Khaliq1*, Amar Matloob1, Asif Tanveer1, Ahsan Areeb1, Farhena Aslam1, and Nadeem Abbas1

Reduction in herbicide usage without compromising yields can lead to less environmental harm and lower production costs. Field trials were conducted to appraise the efficacy of reduced doses (25, 50, and 75% of the label dose) of a post emergence sulfonylurea herbicide [Atlantis 3.6WG (iodo+mesosulfuron)] to control weeds in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) fields of Punjab, Pakistan. Below-labeled-doses were quite effective in suppressing total weed density (72-95%) and biomass (83-94%), and wheat grain yield was increased by 22 to 48% over the weedy control, while label dose of iodo+mesosulfuron improved yield by 53%. Iodo+mesosulfuron at 25 and 50% of the label dose inhibited grass weeds by 43 to 64%, albeit their biomass was suppressed by > 80% over control. Wheat yields for reduced herbicide doses (50 and 75%) were not different with label dose. Economic analysis revealed that the maximum marginal rate of return was recorded for 50% of the label herbicide dose and was followed by that observed for 25% of the label dose. Reduced doses of herbicide can be an effective tool in minimizing herbicide inputs and lowering production costs in wheat production without compromising yields.

Keywords: Reduced herbicide dose, weed suppression, efficiency, wheat yield.
1University of Agriculture, Department of Agronomy, Faisalabad 38040, Pakistan. *Corresponding author (khaliquaf@gmail.com).