Effect of tillage and weed control practices on weed density, cassava growth and yield at Mkuranga district, Tanzania

Main Article Content

Joseph Leonard
Abdul Kudra
George Tryphone

Keywords

Cassava Biomass, Fresh root weight, Manihot esculenta, Weeds, weed control options, weed density

Abstract

Poor and improper weeding in cassava production has been reported to cause cassava yield losses ranging from 40% to 90%. A study was carried out in 2019/2020 planting season at Kiimbwanindi village, Mkuranga, Tanzania to identify common weeds available in the selected cassava field and then the effect of different integrated weed control options was studied. Till only and till + Ridge, pre-emergence herbicides (Primagram Gold a.i 290 g/L S-metolachlor + 370 g/L atrazine and Oxfen a.i Oxyfluorfen 24% EC), post emergence herbicides (Force up a.i 480 g/L of Glyphosate-Isopropylamine salt) and back pack weeder with modified tines were tested on Cassava variety Kiroba in a factorial experiment arranged in a randomized complete block design (RCBD) replicated three times. Data on weed species, weed density, cassava height, girth and fresh root yield and soil were collected. By using Thomas methodology, perennial weeds Cyperus rotundus, Reissantia sp, Mucuna pruriens and Commelina benghalensis found to be the mostly and abundantly occurred weed species. The combination of tillage practices and pre-emergence herbicides application increased number of days’ weeds took to reemerge. The integrated weed control options significantly affected cassava fresh root weight and biomass, p = 0.019 and p = 0.026, respectively. The correlation analysis showed a non-significant positive relationship between cassava stem height and cassava fresh root weight (r = 0.389, p > 0.05), and cassava stem girth and cassava fresh root weight (r = 0.055, p > 0.05). The study concluded that, the combination of till + ridges, application of pre-emergence herbicide (S-metolachlor + atrazine) and post emergence herbicides (glyphosate) can effectively control weeds and provided favorable environment for cassava growth and root formation as compared to other treatment options.

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