Weed management strategies opted by sugarcane growers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, Pakistan.
A study was conducted in 2016 to determine the weeds assemblages in sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum) crop and control methods used for weeds' management in Mardan and Charsadda districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, Pakistan. In all 336 sugarcane growers were interviewed, which were selected by a multi-stage sampling technique. The collected information of this study revealed that most of the sugarcane growers were small landholder and illiterate. The majority of the growers reported that sugarcane is infested with Parthenium hysterophorus L., Scandix pectin-veneris L., Carduus arvensis (L.) Robson, Convolvulus arvensis L., Sorghum halepense (L.) Pers and Sisymbrium irio L. weeds. Sugarcane growers reported that weeds are usually controlled by mechanical methods (use of manual instruments i.e., hoeing, tillage, and sharp stick), cultural (hand pulling, cultivate cane crop before weed growth to suppress its germination and crop rotation) and herbicides application. The surveyed growers got average yield up to 63.38 t ha-1 in the presence of above mentioned weed species. The growers who applied herbicides (Glyphosate, Sunstar@Gold, Trifloxysulfuron, Ametryn, Atrazin, Parazone and Azafax) got average yield upto 130.40, 124.24, 110.66, 104.73 and 102.75 t ha-1. The research study suggests that agricultural departments of Federal and Provincial governments and related organizations should create awareness among sugarcane growers regarding weed infestation in sugarcane, especially small land holders and illiterate growers. Further the information on the use of herbicides should also be provided to sugarcane growers.