Weed Control Using Paddy Straw Mulch in Integration with Herbicides in Autumn Potato in North-West India


Weeds are a major problem in potato production. Two years of trials were conducted to study the efficacy of herbicides and integrated use of mulch with herbicides in controlling weeds and for improving the growth and yield of autumn potato crop at Ludhiana, north-west India, during autumn 2016 and 2017. Each trial had a randomized complete block design with three replicates. There were 11 treatments including weed-free and weedy controls. Uncontrolled weeds caused a yield reduction of 49.7%. Metribuzin at 350 g/ha pre-emergence resulted in 82.4% weed control efficiency at 30 days after planting but this control was reduced to 23.9% at harvest. In contrast, metribuzin at 350 g/ha applied post-emergence controlled broadleaf weeds and grasses very effectively. Clodinafop at 60 g/ha post-emergence resulted in control of grasses only. The post-emergence application of pre-mix clodinafop plus metribuzin at 260 g/ha provided effective weed control and resulted in more tuber yield and economic returns and was significantly better than an application solely of metribuzin or clodinafop. The integrated weed control treatment of paddy straw mulch (PSM) at 6 t/ha with clodinafop plus metribuzin at 195 g/ha post-emergence resulted in the highest tuber yield with weed control efficiency of 95.3% at harvest. The next best one was an integrated treatment of PSM at 6 t/ha with metribuzin at 275 g/ha pre-emergence.