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African Journal of Agricultural Research Vol. 7(35), pp.

4858-4866, 11 September, 2012


Available online at http://www.academicjournals.org/AJAR
DOI: 10.5897/AJAR10.699
ISSN 1991-637X 2012 Academic Journals

Full Length Research Paper

Optimizing herbicide use in wheat (Triticum aestivum)


under rain-fed conditions
Faisal Zahoor1, M. Azim Malik2, Khalid Mehmood1*, M. Rasheed2, Ramzan Ansar2,
Muzammil Hussain1, Mushtaq H. Kazmi1 and M. Jamil1
1

Department of Agronomy, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Rawalakot, Pakistan.
2
Department of Agronomy, Pir Mehr Ali Shah-Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi, Pakistan.
Accepted 7 March, 2012

Widespread prevalence of weeds poses a severe threat to rain-fed wheat production in Pakistan and
other places. Weed control efficacy of different herbicides and their dose rates in wheat crop was
investigated under rain-fed conditions during the period of 2005 to 2006 and 2006 to 2007. Wheat
variety GA-2002 was planted as a test crop. The experiment was carried out in a Randomized
Complete Block Design (RCBD) with three replications. Among different treatments, the lowest weed
biomass (15.97 g m-2) was recorded in hand weeded plots followed by Buctril Super (Bromoxynil +
Methtyl choloro phenoxyl acetic acid) at a.i 0.45 kg ha-1 and MCPA (Methtyl choloro phenoxyl acetic
acid) a.i at 0.65 kg ha-1. The highest grain yield (2678 kg ha-1) was recorded with the application of
Buctril super 0.45 kg ha-1 that was at par with the application of Buctril Super 0.35 kg ha-1. Weedy
check treatment was at the bottom with the lowest grain yield. On the basis of two consecutive years
of field study, it can be concluded that Buctril Super at 0.45 kg ha-1 was the most economical
treatment with the highest BCR (1.52).
Key words: Wheat, weed control, herbicide rates, rain-fed conditions.

INTRODUCTION
Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) is a major cereal staple
food of masses in Pakistan. It constitutes 60% of the
average daily diet of a common man and is principally
consumed as flat bread. Average per capita consumption of wheat in the country is 125 kg per annum (Khan,
2003). In order to fulfill this huge demand, it is grown in
areas having 9.062 million hectares with an average
yield of 2.49 tons ha -1. This per hectare yield is far below
the possessed potential yield (6 t/ha) due to many
factors including the widespread prevalence of weeds.
One of the most serious and fastest growing problems
in the world today is the spread and establishment of
invasive non-native plants in wheat. Some have termed
them noxious weed species biological pollutants

*Corresponding author. E-mail: Khalid_meh2003@yahoo.com.


Tel: +923459756474.

because their presence can drastically alter the


ecological checks and balances of the native ecosystem
processes. Unlike chemical pollutants that degrade over
time, biological pollutants have the potential to persist,
multiply, and spread (RFTA, 2003).
Wheat crop usually suffers from stress created by
weeds through competition for water, nutrients, space
and sunlight (Marwat et al., 2006). Weeds consumes at
least as much NPK fertilizer as crop plants. Weeds also
cause interference by releasing toxic substances into
the rhizosphere of the crop plants (Rice, 1984).
Moreover, in row crops, much of the cost of inter-tillage,
seedbed preparation and seed cleaning operations is
due to weed infestation. Weeds decrease yield by 15 to
50% and in serious cases, may lead to complete failure
of crop (Saeed et al., 1991).
The weed problem is getting from bad to worst in rainfed wheat. Control of weeds is therefore, essential for
obtaining higher yield and better quality produce. The

Zahooret al.

4859

Table 1. Physio-chemical properties of experimental site.

Years
2005-06
2006-07

pH
7.6
7.7

Texture
Loam
Loam

Clay
16
16

Silt (%)
26
29

Sand (%)
58
55

OM (%)
0.55
0.41

cropping intensity is increasing and weed management


through traditional methods has become difficult due to
scarcity of labor during peak requirement. This situation
has forced the farmers to look for other methods and
now the principal component of modern weed control
constitutes herbicide usage (Marwat et al., 2005). The
advent of herbicides gave a new direction to the farmers
to realize the maximum yield potential of the crop at
lower input costs which has never been possible (Rao,
2000). The success of herbicide application is
dependent upon weed species, the timeliness and
thoroughness of application, condition at the time of
application, herbicide choice, rate and crop management after the application.
Currently, many herbicides are available in the local
market with certain application rates. The use of chemical herbicides is one of the major culprits responsible
for environmental pollution. An intriguing alternative that
will minimize environmental pollution is the use of
herbicides at low application rates. The judicious use of
herbicide is the one possible way for effective weed
management in the near future. The present study was
undertaken to determine the most effective and
economical application rate of the post-emergence
herbicide for use in wheat under rain-fed conditions.

MATERIALS AND METHODS


The proposed study was conducted at the experimental farm, Pir
Mehr Ali Shah, Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi, Pakistan
between the period of 2005 to 2007. The experiment was laid out
in Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) with three
replications. The net plot size was 6 4 m. Soil samples were
collected from both locations before crop sowing to a depth of 15
cm and analyzed for its various physio-chemical properties (Table
1).
Wheat cultivar GA-2002 was planted in the 3rd week of
November, 2005 and 2nd week of November, 2006 using a seed
rate of 110 kg seed ha -1. The herbicides were sprayed with the
help of Knapsack hand sprayer fitted with T-Jet nozzle at a
pressure of 207 kp. Buctril Super (Bromoxynil + Methtyl choloro
phenoxyl acetic acid) a.i at values of 0.25, 0.35, 0.45 and 0.55 kg
ha-1 and MCPA (Methtyl choloro phenoxyl acetic acid) a.i at 0.50,
0.65, 0.75 and 0.85 kg ha-1 was sprayed at 3 to 4 leaf stage of the
weeds 30 days after sowing (DAS).
The fertilizer, NPK was applied at the time of sowing at 110, 80
and 60 kg ha-1 as basal dose, respectively. Crop was harvested
manually at its physiological maturity. Threshing of samples taken
from each plot was done separately. The weed control efficiency
was calculated using the following formula, as prescribed by Singh
et al. (2000). Weed fresh biomass from treated and untreated
plots was taken and oven dried at 72C to calculate dry matter and

Total N
0.063
0.068

Available P (ppm)
5.0
5.5

Extractable K (ppm)
90
99

weed control efficiency was determined using:


Dry matter of weeds from untreated plots Dry matter of weeds from treated plots
100
Dry matter of weeds from untreated plots

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION


Weed control efficiency (%)
The significant differences were found among various
herbicide application rates (Figure 1). The highest weed
control efficiency of 84.97% was recorded in plots where
hand weeding was done. It was at par with B. Super at
0.35 kg ha-1 (78.02) and MCPA at 0.65 kg ha-1 (76.30). It
may be attributed to better weed suppression and lesser
weed crop competition in these treatments. These
results are inline with the findings of Khan et al. (1999),
who reported that application of MCPA 0.25 kg ha-1 a.i
gave better weed control results in wheat as compared
to treatments with low doses or weed check. Similar
findings were also reported by Angiras et al. (1996).
Weed biomass (g m-2)
Total weed biomass reflects the growth potential of
weeds and is a good indicator of its competitive ability
with crop plants (Sarwar, 1994). The data pertaining to
weed biomass as influenced by various herbicides
presented in Figure 2 indicated that various herbicides
differed significantly from one another for weed
biomass.
Among different herbicide rates, the lowest weed
biomass (15.97 g m -2) was recorded in hand weeded
plots followed by Buctril Super at 0.45 kg ha-1, MCPA
0.65 kg ha-1 and Buctril Super at 0.25 kg ha-1. This could
be due to the reason that the highest weed mortality
was achieved as these doses were found to suppress
weed growth and ultimately reduce weed biomass over
the remaining of the treatments as higher doses may act
as growth regulator rather than to suppress the growth
of weed. While the highest weed biomass (127.22 g m -2)
was recorded in weedy plots over two years of field
study. Similarly, a negative relationship between weed
biomass and 1000 grain weight and weed biomass and
wheat grain yield was observed indicating 82 and 76%
of their linear determination coefficient during the two
years field study (Figures 5 and 6). These results are in

Afr. J. Agric. Res.

90
8090

a
a

(%) 2)
efficiency
Weed control
biomass (g/m
Weed

7080
6070

ab
bc

b
bc

5060
4050

de

def

3040

def

fg

20

bcd

cd

cde
cde

def

def

def

30

efg

10

20

10

Ch
ec
n
h
BS H
d ec
k
Wk
an
@
d
e
BS
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@
2
d
BS 0.
5 ing ng
25
kg
BS @ k g
a.
a
0
i/
.
@
BS 0.3 .35i ha- ha
1
k
5
g
BS @ k g
0. a.i a.i/h
@
a
BS 0.4 45ha-1
5
kg
k
@
B
g
M S @ 0 a.i a.i/
CP 0. .5 ha
5 - 1 ha
5
M
kg
CP A @5 k g
M A @ 0 a.i h a.i/
C 0 .5 a- ha
M PA .50 0 k 1
CP
@ kg g
M A @ 0 a.i h a.i
CP 0. .6 a- /h
5 1 a
6
M
CP A 5 k
k
A @ ga ga
M @ 0 .i h .i
C 0 .7 a /h
a
M PA .75 5 -1
CP
k
k
A @ ga ga
@
.
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85 5 1
a
kg kg
a.
i h a.
a- i/h
1
a

W
e
Heady
C

W
ee

dy

Treatments
Treatemnts
Figure 1. Weed
efficiency
(%)as
as influenced
influenced by by
various
herbicide
application rates
Fig 2:control
Weed
biomass
various
herbicide
pooled overFig
two1:years
study. efficiency (%) as influenced by various herbicide
Weedofcontrol

application rates pooled over two years

application rates pooled over two years of study

Weed biomass (g/m )

90
80

70
60

b
bc

50
40

cd

cde

30

def

fg

20

bcd

def

def

10

a
a.

i/h

a
kg
85
0.
@

CP
A

0.

75

kg

a.

i/h

a
i/h

a
kg
65
0.
M

CP
A

0.
M

CP
A

a.

i/h

a
kg
50

kg
5
0.
5
CP
A

a.

i/h

a.

i/h

a
@
BS

0.
4

kg

a.

i/h

a.

i/h
kg

a.
5
BS

BS

0.
2

0.
3

kg

ee
d

W
d
@

BS

Ha
n

dy

Ch
ec

in
g

W
ee

Weed biomass (g/m2)

Weed biomass (g/m2)

4860

Treatments
Figure 2. Fig
Weed
biomass
as influenced
by various
herbicide
application rates
2: Weed
biomass
as influenced
by various
herbicide
pooled over two years.

application rates pooled over two years

Zahooret al.

35

30

a
ab

ab

bc

1000 grain weight (g)

4861

ab

ab

25
20
15
10
5

W
ee
dy
C
he
Ha
ck
nd
BS
W
ee
@
di
0.
ng
25
BS
kg
@
a.
i/ h
0.
35
a
BS
kg
@
a.
i/ h
0.
45
a
BS
kg
@
a.
i/ h
M
0.
CP
55
a
A
kg
@
a.
i/ h
0.
M
50
CP
a
kg
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a.
i
0.
/h
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65
a
CP
kg
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a.
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M
0.
75
CP
a
kg
A
@
a.
i/ h
0.
85
a
kg
a.
i/ h
a

Treatments
Fig 3: 1000
weight
influenced by
herbicide
Figure 3. 1000
graingrain
weight
asasinfluenced
byvarious
various
herbicide
application
application rates pooled
over rates
two pooled
years. over two years

Grain Yield (kg/ha)


Grain
(Kg/ha)
yield(kg/ha)
Grainyield

3000

ab

2500

2000

bc

bc

cd

1500
1000
500

a
i/h

a
0.

85

kg

a.

i/h

a
M

C
PA

0.

75

kg

a.

i/h

a
kg
65
M

C
PA

0.
@

0.
C
PA
M

a.

i/h

a
kg
50

kg
5
0.
5

@
C
PA

BS

a.

i/h

a
a.

i/h

a
@

0.
4

kg

a.

i/h

a
a.

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0.
3

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a.
@

BS

0.
2

kg

ee
d

W
d
BS

H
an

W
ee

dy

C
he
c

in
g

Treatments
Grain yield
as influenced
by variousby
herbicide
application
Figure Fig
4.4: Grain
yield
as influenced
various
herbicide
rates
pooled
two years
application rates pooled
over
two over
years.

agreement with the findings of Cheema and Akhtar


(2005), Khan et al. (2000) and Salarazi et al. (2002),
who reported that the Buctril Super a.i at 0.50 kg ha-1
significantly suppressed the weed population and weed
biomass per unit land area.

these treatments. These results are in line with the


findings of Cheema and Akhtar (2005), Khan and Noorul-Haq (1998) and Shah et al. (1989) who reported
maximum 1000-grain weight in plots treated with Buctril
Super at 0.85 kg ha -1.

1000 Grain weight (g)

Grain yield (kg ha-1)

The examination of data presented in Figure 3 indicated


that among different herbicides, the highest 1000-grain
weight (32.65 g) was recorded with the application of B.
super at 0.35 kg ha-1 that was at par with all other weed
control treatments except B. Super at 0.25 kg ha -1 and
weedy check. It may be due to the reason that weed
control provided favorable environment for the crop
growth and resulted in optimum crop stand and
ultimately produced the highest 1000-grain weight in

Wheat grain yield is an interplay of its yield components


especially, 1000-grain weight. Moreover, grain yield
greatly depends on seasonal availability of moisture in
rain-fed areas. The data pertaining to grain yield as
influenced by various herbicide application rates
presented in Figure 4 show significant differences
among different treatments. Among the different
application rates, the highest grain yield of 2678 kg ha -1
was recorded with the application of Buctril super a 0.45

4862

Afr. J. Agric. Res.

Figure 5. Relationship between weed biomass and 1000 grain weight.

Figure 6. Relationship between weed biomass and grain yield.

kg/ha-1 that was at par with the application of Buctril


super at 0.35 kgha -1 and hand weeding treatment. It
may be attributed to efficient weed control achieved in
these treatments. Similar results have been reported by
Cheema and Akhtar (2005), Marwat et al. (2005) and
Salarazi et al. (2002). The lowest grain yield (1389 kg ha1
) was recorded in weedy plots over two years of field
study. It may be due to the reason that weed crop
competition in these plots probably resulted in inadequate
availability of nutrients and moisture to the crop plants

and ultimately grain yield of wheat decreased in weedy


plots. Wheat grain yield was positively associated with
weed control efficiency and 1000 grain weight having 72
and 86% of their linear determination of coefficient for
pooled data of two years, respectively (Figures 7 and 8).
Biological yield (kg ha-1)
The biological yield expresses the overall growth of crop.
The result pertaining to the efficacy of various herbicide

4863

Grain yield (kg/ha)

Grain yield (Kg\ha)

Zahooret al.

Weed control efficiency (%)

Figure 7. Relationship between weed control efficiency and


grain yield.

2500
2000
1500

y = 177.57x - 3177.5
2
R = 0.8692

100
)

500
1

Grain yield (kg ha-1)

3000

0
0

10

20

30

40

1000 grain weight (g)


Figure 8. Relationship
1000 grain weight
and grain1000
yield.
Fig between
9: Relationship
between

grain weight

and grain yield


application rates presented in Figure 9 revealed that the
mean for different treatments differed significantly for
biological yield.

Among different application rates, the highest


biological yield of 7209 kg ha -1 was recorded with the
application of Buctril super at 0.45 kg ha-1 that was at

4864

Afr. J. Agric. Res.

8000

Biological yield (kg/ha)

Biological yield (kg/ha)

7000

ab

a
bc

6000
5000

ab

bc

bc

cd
d

4000
3000
2000
1000

W
ee
dy
H
C
he
BS a n
d
ck
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BS 0.2
di
5
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kg ng
a.
BS 0.3
i/ h
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a
kg
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a.
BS 0.4
i/ h
5
a
@
kg
M
CP
0.
a.
55
i/ h
A
a
@
kg
M
CP
0.
a.
5
i/ h
A
0
a
kg
@
M
CP
a.
0.
i/ h
6
A
5
a
@
kg
M
CP
0.
a.
7
i/ h
A
5
a
kg
@
a.
0.
i/ h
85
a
kg
a.
i/ h
a

Treatments
Figure 9. Biological yield as influenced by various herbicide application rates pooled over two years.

Fig 8: Biological yield as influenced by various herbicide


par with MCPA at 0.65 kg ha -1, Buctril
super at 0.35 kgrates
because
of poor
competition
by weed in the treated
application
pooled
over
two years
ha-1 and hand weeding. The highest biological yield
plots. Khan et al. (2003), Marwat et al. (2005) and Kortu
obtained was probably due to increased crop growth
spectrum herbicides increased biological yield in
wheat. The lowest biological yield (6878 kg ha-1) was
recorded in weedy plots.

Economic analysis
The feasibility and profitability of any study can be
depicted in terms of economic returns Table 2. The
economic analysis of the experimental data is essential to
look at the experimental results from farmers view point
as they are often interested in cost effective technology.

et al. (1999) also reported that application of broadThe results pertaining to economic returns in terms of
benefit cost ratio (BCR) of various herbicide treatments
are shown in Figure 10. It is evident that all the
weedcontrol treatments provided higher monetary returns
than the weedy check treatment. But as farmers are
interested in cost effective weed control treatment,
hence, on the basis of two consecutive years of field
study, it may be concluded that Buctril super at 0.45 kg
ha-1 was the most economical treatment with the highest
BCR (1.52) that was followed by Buctril super at 0.35 kg
ha-1 (1.46) and MCPA at 0.65 kg ha-1 in agro-climatic
conditions of Rawalpindi,Pakistan.

Zahooret al.

1.6

1.46

1.52

Benifit cost ratio

1.4

1.24
1.13

1.2
1

0.95

0.88
0.78

0.8
0.6

4865

0.82

0.76

0.44

0.4
0.2

W
ee
dy
C
H
he
an
ck
d
B
S
W
@
ee
di
0.
ng
2
5
B
S
kg
@
a.
0.
i/ h
3
a
5
B
S
kg
@
a.
0.
i/ h
4
a
B
5
S
kg
@
a.
M
0.
i/ h
C
55
a
P
A
kg
@
a.
M
0.
i/ h
C
5
a
0
P
A
kg
@
a.
M
0.
i/ h
C
65
a
P
A
kg
@
a.
M
0.
i/ h
C
7
a
5
P
A
kg
@
a.
0.
i/ h
85
a
kg
a.
i/ h
a

Treatments
Figure 10. Benefit
cost
ratio ofcost
various
herbicide
application
rates pooled
over two
years of
Fig 10:
Benifit
ratio
of various
herbicide
application
rates
study.

pooled over two years of study

Table 2. Economic analysis of various herbicide application rates in wheat at Rawalpindi, Pakistan.

Particulars

Weedy

Cost of weedicide and hand weeding (PKRs. ha-1)


Total cost (PKRs. ha-1)
Grain yield (kg ha-1)
Grain yield value (PKRs ha-1)
Straw yield (kg ha-1)
Straw yield value (PKRs ha-1)
Gross income (PKRs.)
Net benefit (PKRs.)

Nil
30500
1389
32989
4325
10812.5
43802
13302

Hand
weeding
4500
35000
2462
58473
6480
16200
74673
39673

B.Super at
0.25 kg ha-1
691
31191
1793
42584
5251
13128
55712
24521

B.Super at
0.35 kg ha-1
1037
31537
2553
60634
6821
17053
77687
46150

B.Super at
0.45 kg ha-1
1380
31880
2678
63603
7209
18023
80656
48776

B.Super at
0.55 kg ha-1
1725
32225
1939
46051
5850
14625
60676
28451

Grain yield value: PK Rs. 23.75 kg-1, straw yield value; PKRs 2.50 kg-1, buctril super at PKRs. 1380 L-1, MCPA at PKRs. 450 L-.

MCPA at
0.50 kg ha-1
450
30950
1676
39805
5911
14778
54583
23633

MCPA at
0.65 kg ha-1
562
31062
2217
52654
6845
17113
69767
38705

MCPA at
0.75 kg ha-1
675
31175
1789
42489
5786
14465
56954
25779

MCPA at
0.85 kg ha-1
790
31290
1956
46455
5828
4570
61025
29735

4866

Afr. J. Agric. Res.

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