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RESPONSES OF NERICA RICE TO WEED INTERFERENCE IN SAVANNAH UPLANDS. I. K. Dzomeku 1 , W. Dogbe 2 , E. T. Agawu 1 and I. T. Duku 1 1 University for Development Studies, Tamale. 2 Savannah Agricultural Research Institute, Tamale. Africa Rice Congress, Dar Es Salaam Tanzania.

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responses of nerica rice to weed interference in savannah uplands
RESPONSES OF NERICA RICE TO WEED INTERFERENCE IN SAVANNAH UPLANDS

I. K. Dzomeku1, W. Dogbe2,

E. T. Agawu1 and I. T. Duku11University for Development Studies, Tamale. 2Savannah Agricultural Research Institute, Tamale.

Africa Rice Congress, Dar Es Salaam Tanzania.

31st July – 4th August 2006.

order of presentation
ORDER OF PRESENTATION
  • INTRODUCTION
  • OBJECTIVE
  • MATERIALS AND METHODS
  • RESULTS
  • DISCUSSION
  • CONCLUSION
1 introduction
1. INTRODUCTION
  • With the development of NERICA rice (New African rice) varieties by WARDA and the programmed dissemination of at least NERICA 1 during the 2006 cropping season to Ghanaian farmers,
  • There was the need for the National Agricultural Research system to develop suitable agronomic packages for farmers to enhance the performance of the crop and farmer adoption rate.
1 introduction 2
1. INTRODUCTION 2
  • Weeds are major constraint to increased rice production and farmers spend many hours hand weeding (Akobundu 1987); in face of lack of labour (Tollens, 2006).
  • Weeds interfere with rice growth and development by (1) reducing the available light, nutrient, water, CO2 and space, (2) secrete toxic exudates into the soil that depress growth and development of rice. (3) Harbour various pests (Moody, 1994, FAO, 1996).
  • The longer the weed-rice association remains, greater the reducing effects on rice productivity (Akobundu 1987, 1991; Moody, 1994).
  • Understanding “how long” weeds-rice could associate without damaging effect on rice is key to formulation of sustainable integrated weed management alternatives.
2 objective
2. OBJECTIVE
  • Determine the critical period of weed interference (i.e “how long” can weeds-rice coexist for onset of economic loss in rice productivity?).
    • It is necessary to help determine timing and targeting of weed control interventions to most crucial periods to avoid economic yield loss,
    • Helps to determine single weed control measures likely suitable for integration, and
    • Helps efficient use and management of farm labor.
3 materials and methods
3. MATERIALS AND METHODS
  • Location of Trials: Tamale at the Savannah Agricultural Research Institute (SARI) in the Northern Guinea Savannah ecological zone of Ghana.
  • Rainfall: Unimodal pattern-mean annual rainfall of 1000-1200mm. Fairly distributed from April-November.
  • Temperature -mean monthly minimum of 23.4˚C and maximum of 34.5˚C.
  • RH: Minimum RH of 46% and maximum of 76.8% (SARI Annual Report, 1997).
3 1 experimental design and materials used
3.1. Experimental design and materials used
  • Ten treatments were compared in a randomised complete block design in four replications.
  • In one set of treatments, plots were kept weed-free up to 3, 6, 9 and 12 WAP and subsequently left weed-infested until harvest.
  • In the other set of treatments weeds were allowed to interfere with the crop for periods up to 3, 6, 9 and 12 WAP and subsequently kept weed-free until harvest.
  • Two checks were included as full-season weed-infestation or season-long weed-free regimes
3 2 agronomic practices 1
3.2. Agronomic practices 1
  • Weeding was done every 3 weeks, starting from the third week after planting with a small hand hoe.
  • Plot size was 5 m × 5 m,
  • New Rice for Africa (NERICAs 1 and 2 were evaluated in experiments 1 and 2 respectively).
3 3 agronomic practices 2
3.3. Agronomic practices 2
  • Fertilizer rate of 60-60-30 kg/ha NPK was applied as split,
  • basal fertilizer at a rate of 30-60-30 kg/ha at 2 WAP.
  • N with urea fertilizer drilled between drills second application was broadcasted 5-6 WAP.
3 4 data collected ses

3.4. Data collected (SES)

Soil gravimetric moisture content (%)

Plant height

Leaf area index (Watson, 1952)

Tiller count/m²

Weed species and species dominance

Straw weight

Grain yield

3 5 weed species and species dominance
3.5. Weed species and species dominance
  • 1 m² quadrat sampling unit for weed dominance data and identification.
  • The quadrat was thrown on the two diagonal transects of the field for frequency and density data summed dominance ratio (SDR) of weeds, determined by the relationship:
  • ½ (F/∑F + D/∑D), where F = frequency of occurrence of a weed within the field, D = density of its occurrence on the scale of 0-4, where 0 = zero occurrence of a species per 1m² and 4 ≥ 20 stands of weed (Dangol, 1991).
5 discussion 1
5. DISCUSSION 1
  • Changes in gravimetric soil moisture content could be attributable to the fluctuation in rainfall during the season.
  • The fluctuation did not however, show any visualeffect on the vegetative phase but potentially yields could been higher under more stable moisture.
  • The varieties however have an in-built ability to withstand short periods of drought (WARDA, 1999).
5 discussion 2
5. DISCUSSION 2
  • At 12 and 15 WAP, the mean plant height for plots weeded for 6 weeks or more were similar to the weed-free check suggesting the required optimum weeding regime to maximise plant height was c. 6 WAP.
  • Indeed the 2 varieties attained 100 cm plant height within 6 WAP under 6 weeks of continuous weeding.
5 discussion 3
5. DISCUSSION 3
  • Similar to other results, crops kept weed-free until harvest gave maximum LAI value similar to plants given continuous weeding up to 6-12 WAP showing absence of weed interference within 6 WAP, could optimise attainment of LAImax.
  • Weed infestation of the Nericas exceeding 6 WAP timings resulted in poor LAI, suggesting that the crop is a poor competitor with weeds beyond this period of development.
  • Usually LAI of rice is closely related to grain yield because at flowering it greatly affects the amount of photosynthates available to the panicle (Yoshida and Parao, 1976).
5 discussion 4
5. DISCUSSION 4
  • Crops kept weed-free at least up to 6 WAP had better tillering plants kept initially weed-infested and until harvest probably due to the genetic tillering ability of ativa parent.
5 discussion 5
5. DISCUSSION 5
  • Grain and straw yields was optimised by crops kept weed-free for at least up to 6 WAP suggesting the frequent removal of weeds eliminated weed interference resulting in enhanced growth performance such as in tiller numbers, with consequential higher grain and straw yields.
  • Notably an initial weed infestation for only up to 3 WAP did not affect most parameters including the grain yield compared with weed-free check. In effect, early weed infestation for maximum period of 3 WAP before weed removal might not cause any yield reduction.
acknowledgement
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

We are grateful to WARDA for financial support for the project and sponsorship of the Congress

6 conclusion
6. CONCLUSION
  • Weed infestation 6WAP or more significantly depressed grain yield and other growth parameters, especially plant height (at 12 and 15WAP), LAI and tiller count/m².
  • Initial weed infestation up to 3 WAP did not have adverse effect on the varieties.
  • Weed-free environment up to 6WAP recorded notably similar grain yield, LAI and tiller count/m² with the weed-free check.
  • The critical period of weed interference likely lies between 3 and 6 WAP(as reported for rice Akobundu, 1987).
  • As such two hand weedings at 3 and 6WAP could protect the crops against weed interference with consequential optimum productivity of Nerica 131 and 2.