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Keywords: Applied Sciences
Agriculture & related technologies
Issue Date: 2009
Abstract: Field experiments were conducted during 2006 and 2007 in Peshawar, using open pollinated maize variety “Azam” in RCB design having 3 factors viz., tillage, maize populations and mulches with split-split plot arrangements. Tillage levels (zero and conventional) were assigned to the main plots, populations (90000, 60000 and 30000 plants ha -1 ) to the sub-plots and four types of mulches (weeds mulch, black plastic mulch, white plastic mulch and mungbean as living mulch), a hand weeding and a weedy check were allotted to sub-sub plots, respectively. Data were recorded on days to tasseling, days to silking, leaf area of maize plant -1 (cm 2 ), leaf area index, plant height (cm), fresh weed biomass (kg ha -1 ), weed species composition, days to maturity, biological yield (kg ha -1 ), number of grains cob -1 , 1000-grain weight (g), grain yield (kg ha -1 ), harvest index, and Cost-Benefit Ratio (CBR). Crop yield was not affected significantly by the years, whereas all other factors affected the maize yield. With zero-tillage the yield of maize was 2271 kg ha -1 , compared to 2429 kg ha -1 in conventional tillage. Similarly, increasing crop density (population) increased the yield; having 2055 kg ha -1 in 30000 plants ha -1 , 2412 kg ha -1 in 60000 plants ha -1 and 2483 kg ha -1 in 90000 plants ha -1 , respectively. However, number of grains cob -1 , biological yield, harvest index, and thousand-grain weight of individual plants were affected negatively with increasing plant population. Similarly, mulches, hand weeding and weedy check plots also affected the yield and yield components of maize. Significantly higher grain yield of 2863 kg ha -1 was recorded in the hand weeding as compared to weedy check (1422 kg ha -1 ) and statistically at par with black plastic mulch (2813 kg ha -1 ), followed by weeds mulch (2460 kg ha -1 ), white plastic (2398 kg ha -1 ) and living mulch (2145 kg ha -1 ), respectively. Zero tillage resulted in maximum fresh weed biomass of 183 kg ha -1 as compared to 165 kg ha -1 in the conventional tillage. While lesser weed biomass (158 kg ha -1 ) was recorded in the highest population of 690000 plants ha -1 as compared to 60000 plants ha -1 (168 kg ha -1 ) and 30000 plants ha -1 (196 kg ha -1 ), respectively. Less fresh weed biomass was recorded in the hand weeding plots (112 kg ha -1 ) and statistically at par with black plastic mulch (120 kg ha -1 ), followed by weeds mulch (164 kg ha -1 ), white plastic mulch (191 kg ha -1 ) and living mulch (195 kg ha -1 ) as compared to weedy check (260 kg ha -1 ). Number of weeds species was higher (62 %) in zero tillage than conventional tillage (58 %). Similarly, higher plant populations (90000 plants ha -1 and 60000 plants ha -1 ) had 58 % weed species each as compared to 63 % in the lower plant population (30000 plants ha -1 ). In hand weeding fewer weeds species (38 %) were reported, followed by black plastic (51 %), weeds mulch (58 %), living mulch (63 %) and white plastic (64 %), respectively, as compared to 84 % in the weedy check. Based on two year study it is suggested that even if tillage options and plant populations are a part of the weed management program, it should not be used as a sole management tool; instead it should be integrated and supplemented with other control methods, like mulches, hand weeding and/or herbicides.
Appears in Collections:PhD Thesis of All Public / Private Sector Universities / DAIs.

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