Integrated approaches for weed suppression in chickpea (Cicer arietinum) under residual moisture after rice crop.
Three-year field studies were undertaken at Agricultural Research Institute, Dera Ismail Khan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, Pakistan from 2010-11 to 2012-2013 with the aim of assessing the efficacy of different management techniques on weed growth and yield of chickpea under rain-fed conditions on residual moisture of a previous rice crop. Treatments of the experiment consisted of recommended full and half doses of three herbicides, i.e., Stomp 330E, Dual Gold 960EC and Isoproturon 500EW and the plant extract of Parthenium hysterophorus. Hand weeding treatment was kept as positive control whereas weedy check was included as negative control treatment. The experiment was laid out in a Completely Randomized Block (CRB) design replicated thrice. Parameters of the investigation were weed density, fresh weed biomass, chickpea growth, biological yield and seed yield. The data revealed that the full dose of Stomp 330E proved superior in terms of weed suppression by giving only 84, 69 and 55 weeds m-2 as compared to weedy check for the years 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012-13, respectively. Likewise, the highest plant height and seed yield were also recorded for Stomp 330E (full dose) during the entire study, which was statistically at par with hand weeding. However, there was a reduction in overall chickpea yield during the second and third years of experimentation resulting from lower average rainfall. The extract of P. hysterophorus followed Stomp 330E in weed suppression, enhancing plant height as well as biological yield and seed yield. Moreover, the result also shows statistically similar results of the extract of P. hysterophorus for all other tested treatments. Based on the findings of the present research, it was found that herbicides and hand weeding showed superior results in terms of all tested parameters. However, both approaches are non-judicious: hand weeding is laborious while herbicides may cause environmental pollution, hence the herbicidal potential of P. hysterophorus needs to be encouraged in order to achieve sustainable weed management and high yield in an eco-friendly manner.