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New Zealand Plant Protection 53 (2000): 269-272

Weed competition in maize crop under different timings for post-emergence weed control

T.K. James, A. Rahman and J. Mellsop

ABSTRACT

The effect of early weed competition was determined for a maize (Zea mays) crop grown in Waikato. Maize was established in three different environments, viz. weedy (no herbicide), grass weeds (preemergence atrazine) and broadleaf weeds (pre-emergence metolachlor). Surviving weeds were controlled with post-emergence nicosulfuron (60 g/ha) after different periods of competition and the plots kept weed free for the remainder of the trial. Weeds left completely uncontrolled for 4 weeks after emergence significantly reduced crop yields. When a pre-emergence herbicide was used, surviving weeds began to reduce maize yields after about 6 weeks with grasses having greater effect than broadleaf weeds. The actual period before the weeds started affecting crop growth and yield appeared to be related to the time taken by the weeds to achieve complete ground cover.

Keywords: maize, competition, weed control, ground cover, postemergence.

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