Chemical Weed Control in a Cassava Farm

Do you know that weeds can cause over 50% yield loss? Weed control is very important in every crop farm. The trick is to control weeds until your crops form a canopy that covers the land. This will prevent light from reaching weeds and they won’t grow fast enough to be a problem. The trick is not to totally eliminate weeds – you can’t achieve that in a large farm – but to frustrate their growth to the point where they’ll not cause yield loss.

Manual weeding is time consuming and painfully laborious. It is not practical to weed hectares of farmland by hand. That is why successful farmers are known to use chemical weed control. It is far cheaper than manual or mechanical weed control.

You may be wondering which safe herbicide to use in your cassava farm. Some people have learnt the hard way in the past when they applied the wrong herbicide or when they applied too much of the correct herbicide. To prevent this, below are some of the herbicides you can use to reduce weeds in your cassava farm. Applying too much will harm your plant, so follow the recommended dosage below and more importantly, follow manufacturers’ recommendation.

Protective gears for Agro-chemicals I’ll like to use

Protective gears for Agro-chemicals I’ll like to use

Note: The herbicides listed below are mostly preemergence herbicides, meaning that they kill germinating weeds before they emerge from the soil. So apply them before weeds start growing. After application, they need to be activated by incorporating them into the soil. This can be achieved by cultivation (using a field cultivator or rototiller) to a depth of 2-3 inches, by rainfall or by irrigation. See product label for best method of incorporation. Incorporation will concentrate the herbicide in the soil zone where weeds germinate.

1. Fluometuran: This is a selective, preemergence herbicide that kill grasses and broadleaf weeds. You can apply it before planting and incorporate into the soil by tilling or irrigation. It can control weeds for up to 2-5 months.

2. Diuron: This can be applied at 2kg a.i. /ha after your cassava have started growing. It controls weeds before and after they start growing. After application, irrigate within 2 weeks to activate it.

3. Fluometuran and Alachlor: Efficiency is greatly increased if you mix fluometuran and alachlor in the same tank at the rate of 2-3kg a.i. /ha for fluometuran and 3kg a.i. /ha for alachlor. Alachlor controls annual grasses and broadleaf weeds.

4. Diuron and Metolachlor: Efficiency is greatly increased if you mix Diuron and metolachlor in the same tank at the rate of 2kg a.i. /ha for Diuron and 2kg a.i. /ha for metolachlor.

Metolachlor is a preplant and preemergence herbicide for annual grass and some broadleaf weeds. This means that it is applied before planting (preplant) and before weeds emerge (preemergence). After application incorporate into the soil by tilling or by watering. It can also be used in soybean, corn and peanut farm.

A cassava farm with few weeds. These weeds will not have significant effect on yield.

A cassava farm with few weeds. These weeds will not have significant effect on yield.

5. Atrazine and Metolachlor: This can also give excellent yield when applied at 2.5kg a.i. /ha. You can apply them before or after planting the cassava.  Irrigate after application to activate it. It is ineffective in waterlogged soil because it will leach beyond weed seeds level.

Atrazine is used to control broadleaf weeds before and after they start growing. It is popular in maize and sugarcane farms, but can also be used in cassava farm.

These herbicides will help delay weed growth for a long time. But weeds will eventually grow and when they do, you will either hand-weed or use an herbicide called paraquat to control them. Paraquat is quite safe because it kills only the leaves it come in contact with. It will not kill the entire plant like glyphosphate. But you should shield your cassava from it.

When combining 2 herbicides, don’t do so directly without dilution. Add the first herbicide to your sprayer tank and half-fill the tank with water. Add the second herbicide and fill the tank with water. This will prevent any chemical reaction from taking place.

If you’ve not tried this before, do so in a small farm area and observe it for 1 year or 6 months. Do this before you use these herbicides on a large scale. This precaution will help you avoid massive loss in case of any miscalculation. Also, if you intend planting another crop next season, check to make sure that the herbicide residue will not harm the crop. These herbicides may be compatible with cassava, but their residue can seriously harm other crops.

If controlling weeds have been your problem, I hope you now have your solution. Thanks for reading.

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