Allelopathic Efficacy of Sorghum Mulches and Water Extract Concentrations on Weed Suppression and Yield Enhancement in Wheat



The weeds cause wheat production losses upto 50%, and in some cases they can result in total crop failure. Therefore, to overcome the historically burning issue of farming community this highly important study was carried out to determine how weed suppression through application of allelopathic mulches and water extracts of sorghum could increase wheat yield. The experiment was conducted under field conditions at Agronomy Section, Agriculture Research Institute, Tandojam, Pakistan during Rabi (winter) 2007-08 and same study was also repeated in next Rabi season of 2008-09 for accuracy of results. The experiment was laidout in three replicated randomized complete block design, having net plot size of 4 m x 3 m (12 m2). The treatment consisted: weedy check (no weeding); sorghum mulches at 6 Mg ha-1 and 12 Mg ha-1 (soil incorporated and surface cover); sorghum water extract concentrations at 10 and 15 L ha-1 (1 and 2 sprays) at 4 and 6 weeks after sowing; and hand weddings (two) at 4 and 6 weeks after sowing. The results showed that sorghum organic mulches at 12 Mg ha-1 and water extract concentrations @ 15 L ha-1 (2 sprays) exhibited significant (P< 0.05) allelopathic effects on weeds. Herbage mulches at 12 Mg ha-1 and water extract concentrations (2 sprays) @ 15 L ha-1 respectively significantly (P<0.05) enhanced growth, yield and reduced the density m-2 and biomass of weeds in wheat. Agronomic and physiological traits of wheat such as plant height ( 96.50 cm) spike length (12.94 cm), grains spike-1 (67.76), grain weight spike-1 (3.75 g), spikes m-2 (356 and 339), biological yield (14. 70 and 14.41 Mg ha-1) and grain yield (7.64 and 7.49 Mg ha-1) and leaf area plant-1 (cm2), leaf area index (%), dry matter production (m-2 (g/ kg) and crop growth rate (g m-2 day-1) were recorded maximum with application of water extract concentrations @ 15 L ha-1 (2 sprays) at 4 and 6 after sowing and at sorghum mulch (soil incorporated) at 12 Mg ha-1 respectively as compared to weedy check. Although minimum weed density m-2 (8.33 and 5.13), fresh weed biomass (126.3 and 79.33 g) at 90 days after sowing, dry weed biomass (25.17 and 22.67g) and maximum weed control %age (77.86 and 86.3), were recorded with sorghum mulch (S.I) at 12 Mg ha-1 and sorghum water extract concentrations @ 15 L ha-1 (2 sprays) at 4 and 6 weeks after sowing respectively. Moreover, all organic mulches and water extract concentrations were found effective and economical as compared to weedy check.

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