Integrated weed management in chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.).
The poor competition ability of chickpea opens the door for weed to cause a serious yield loss. The experimental field is conducted to evaluate the integrated effects of pre-emergence herbicides and hand-weeding on weed control, yield components, yield, and their economic feasibility for cost effective weed control in chickpea. The experiment consisted of 12 treatments viz. pre-emergence s-metolachlor (1.0, 1.5 and 2.0 kg ha−1) and pendimethalin (1.0, 1.25 and 1.5 kg ha−1), each at three rates metolachlor, s-metolachlor + one-hand-weeding, pendimethalin + one-hand-weeding, two-hand-weeding, complete weed free and weedy checks arranged. The weed flora consisted of broadleaved and sedge with the relative densities of 95.24 and 4.76% at Haramaya district, and 93.72 and 6.28%, at Hirna district, respectively. Application of s-metolachlor and pendimethalin 1.0 kg ha−1 each supplemented with hand weeding 5 WAE significantly (p ≤ 0.01) affected the broadleaved weeds, sedges and weed dry weight at both sites. S-metolachlor 1.0 kg ha−1 supplemented with hand weeding 5 WAE gave the lowest total number of weeds (21.78 m−2) following the weed free check. Higher average grain yield (2344.41 kg ha−1 or 234.441 g m−2) was produced with s-metolachlor 1.0 kg ha−1 supplemented with one-hand-weeding 5 WAE following complete weed-free. The benefit gained from s-metolachlor and pendimethalin at 1.0 kg ha−1 each supplemented with one hand weeding 5 WAE were greater than the value recorded from the weedy check by 216% and 198%, respectively. S-metolachlor 1.0 kg ha−1 supplemented with hand weeding 5 WAE treatments resulted in the highest grain yield and economic benefit. However, in case labour is constraint and s-metolachlor herbicide is timely available, pre emergence application of s-metolachlor at 2.0 kg ha−1 should be the alternative to preclude the yield loss and to ensure maximum benefit. Herbicides application is an integral part of farmer's crop management in modern agricultural systems.