Assessment of effective control methods for parthenium weed in maize fields

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Sokoine University of Agriculture


In the near future, labour to assist in weed management in the villages will become scarce and expensive, because of population drift from villages to cities. It is necessary to develop cheaper methods of weed management that will reduce weed impact on maize yield. A field experiment was conducted at the Tropical Pesticides Research Institute (TPRI), Arusha-Tanzania during the long rain season of 2017, to identify control methods for parthenium weed (Parthenium hysterophorus L.). The experiment was laid out in a randomized complete block design (RCBD) with four replications. Treatments were hand hoeing (twice), mulches (dry grass and cowpeas), application of 2, 4-D (twice), weed free plots and un-weeded plots. Data collected include plant height at flowering (m), leaf length and width (m), number of leaves at flowering, number of days to (tasseling, silking and milking), tassel length (m), number of days to maize maturity, plant height at maturity (m), number of plants harvested, ear length and diameter (m), number of kernel rows/ear, number of kernels/row and grain yield (t/ha)at 12% moisture content, parthenium weed plant height (m), canopy width (m), and number of parthenium plants before weeding, height (m) and number of parthenium plants at maize maturity. Statistical analysis was performed using Genstat software (16th edition) and means were separated by Tukey’s mean separation test at p≤0.05. The results show that, mulches significantly reduced parthenium height and population in the maize crop at maturity (p<0.05). Plant height at flowering, leaf length and width, number of days to tasseling, tassel length, number of days to silking, milking, maturity, plant height at maturity and number of plants harvested were not significantly affected by any of the weed management methods. Thus mulching and 2, 4-D were found to be the best methods for controlling parthenium weed growth and population.


Proceedings of Scientific Conference on Transforming Agriculture and Natural Resources for Sustainable Development to Attain Industrial Economy in Tanzania, pp. 83-93


Parthenium weed, Control methods, Maize, Weeds