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New Zealand Plant Protection 59 (2006): 250-254

Optimal timing for post emergence applications of nicosulfuron for weed control in maize

T.K. James, A. Rahman and M. Trolove

ABSTRACT

Field trials were conducted over three growing seasons to ascertain optimal timing for post emergence application of nicosulfuron in maize when no pre-emergence herbicides were used. Nicosulfuron (60 g/ha) was applied at 1 to 7 weeks after maize emergence. Dry matter and leaf area of maize plants, grass and broadleaf weeds were determined at the time of treatment. Maize grain yields were used as the major determinant to assess the impact of different timings of post-emergence weed control. The early season (weeks 13) weed control achieved with nicosulfuron was excellent, but subsequent germination of weeds occurred. In weeks 47 the larger weeds took longer to brown off and die back. Results showed that both the biomass and ground cover of weeds were important in determining the duration of the optimal application window. When weeds remained uncontrolled and achieved 100% ground cover, grain yields were significantly reduced. This occurred at weeks 3, 5 and 6 after emergence in the three trials.

Keywords: nicosulfuron, weed control, post-emergence, maize, weed competition.

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