Soil application of trichoderma and peach (Prunus persica L.) residues possesses biocontrol potential for weeds and enhances growth and profitability of soybean (Glycine max).
Weed is a limiting factor to various economically important agricultural crops including cereal, oil seed, legumes and cash crops. Minimizing pest losses in addition to better crop management is a way toward narrowing the yield gap and ensuring food security. The present study was carried out to investigate the impact of peach (Prunus persica L.) residues and soil application of Trichoderma (soft-rot fungi) along with seed inoculation of phosphate solubilizing bacteria (PSB) (Pseudomonas) and phosphorus (P) on weeds frequency, and biomass at various growth stages of soybean and its yield contributing parameters. The consecutive field experiments for years 2016 and 2017 using randomized complete block design (RCBD) were conducted on soybean (cv. Malakand-96) crop. Experimental treatments included three organic sources, three phosphate rates and two beneficial microbes. Weeds found during the whole growing period of soybean crop were Euphorbia heterophylla L., Phyllanthus fraternus L., Portulaca oleracea L. Parthenium hysterophorus L., IPomoea nil L., Erigeron canadensis L., Echinochloa crus-galli L., Asparagus officinalis L., Cynodon dactylon L., Digera muricata L., Cyprus rotundus L. and Solanum nigrum L. The most abundant and flourished weeds were Cyprus rotundus L, and Cynodon dactylon. Results revealed that peach organic sources (biochar) and Trichoderma drastically reduced weeds frequency, weeds biomass at flowering, pods formation and physiological maturity stages. However, P highest and moderate (100 and 75 kg P ha-1) rates were remained the same for weeds biomass. When compared with the economic analysis and profitability of soybean the highest net returns (NR) in Pakistani Rupees (PKRs) (PKR 62.082 ha-1) were noted with the biochar amendment followed by compost (PKR 60,168 ha-1), whereas least net return NR (PKR 41,548 ha-1) was recorded with peach residues incorporation. The value cost ratio (VCR) was highest with compost application (5.48) among the organic sources followed by biochar (5.37), while the least VCR value (4.67) was observed with peach residues. Beneficial microbe's application indicated that highest NR (PKR 67,453 ha-1) were attained with soil application of Trichoderma followed by seed inoculation of PSB (PKR 62,695 ha-1). When compared the average VCR of both years, greater VCR was attained by Trichoderma followed by PSB.