A field experiment was conducted during rabi 2010-11 at Junagadh (Gujarat, India) to find out most efficient and economical method of weed control in rabi sweet corn (Zea mays L. var. saccharata Sturt). The pre-emergence (PRE) herbicides viz., atrazine, pendimethalin and oxadiargyl were combined either with hand weeding (HW) and interculturing (IC) or with post-emergence (POST) herbicide 2, 4-D (SS) to evolve integrated weed management. The weed flora of the experimental site constituted Digera arvensis, Cyperus rotundus, Brachiaria spp., Asphodelus tenuifolius, Indigofera glandulosa, Amaranthus viridis, Acanthospermum hispidum, Panicum colonum, Launaea nudicaulis, Euphorbia hirta, Chenopodium album, Portulaca oleracea, Dactyloctenium aegyptium and Celosia argentea. The results revealed that physical methods viz., weed free, HW and IC twice at 15 and 30 days after sowing (DAS) as well as integrated methods viz., atrazine @ 0.5 kg a.i. /ha as PRE+HW and IC at 30 DAS and pendimethalin @ 0.9 kg a.i. /ha as PRE+HW and IC at 30 DAS significantly enhanced growth and yield attributes ultimately higher cob and fodder yields over unweeded check. The treatments viz., weed free, HW and IC twice at 15 and 30 DAS, atrazine @ 0.5 kg a.i. /ha as PRE+HW and IC at 30 DAS, and pendimethalin @ 0.9 kg a.i. /ha as PRE+HW and IC at 30 DAS also recorded the lower weed population at 30, 60 DAS and at harvest, dry weight of weed at harvest with lower weed index and higher weed control efficiency and herbicidal efficiency index. These treatments were found economical by recording higher net returns and B: C ratio compared to unweeded check.
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