Document Type: Original Article

Authors

1 Njala Agricultural Research Centre (NARC), Njala. Sierra Leone

2 Crop Protection Department, School of Agriculture, Njala University. Sierra Leone

Abstract

A two-year (2017 and 2018) field trials was conducted in the School of Agriculture, Njala University, Sierra Leone, to evaluate weed management practices on weed dynamics and productivity of maize. The experimental trials were laid out in a randomized complete block design (RCBD) with three replications. The treatment combinations comprised of weedy check (Control), two hoe weeding at 4 and 8 weeks after planting (WAP), Double force® at 4 L ha-1 plus one hoe weeding at 8 WAP, Gliricidia sepium leaves mulch at 40 kg m-2 plus one hoe weeding at 8 WAP, weed-free check and Atrazine 500 SC at 3 L ha-1 plus one hoe weeding at 8 WAP. The results showed that growth and yield physiognomies differ significantly (P<0.05) among weed control practices across both years. The weed-free check treatment recorded the highest growth and yield physiognomies with respect to reduced weed density and increased weed control efficiency followed by herbicidal treatments, while weedy check had the lowest growth and yield attributes across both years. Nonetheless weed-free check required lot of labour force which was not economical to the farmer’s point of judgment. Thus, Double force® at 4 L ha-1 plus one hoe weeding at 8 WAP proved to be better in controlling weeds, increasing crop yield and economical compared with other weed management practices. Hence Double force® at 4 L ha-1 plus one hoe weeding at 8 WAP was recommended as a pre-emergence herbicide in maize production for effective and environmentally friendly weed control method.

Keywords

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