Effect of selected herbicides in control of weeds, and their effect on yield in maize (Zea mays)
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A field experiment was conducted to evaluate efficacy of post-emergence herbicides against major weeds in maize at Makerere University Agricultural Research Institute Kabanyolo during the rainy season of 2018/19. The trial was laid out in randomized complete block design (RCBD) with three replications, and consisted of four treatments including post-emergence application of diuron, glyphosate, butachlor, butaforce and weedy check for comparison. Application treatments boosted maize grain yield over weedy check plots there by reducing weed infestation. Analysis of variance showed statistically significance difference (P < 0.01) for total weed density (m2). Significantly the minimum density (3.71/m2) was observed in plots treated with diuron. In contrary, the highest (12.05/m2), was observed in weedy check plots. All the herbicide treatments provided significant control of weeds causing significant reduction in density of target weed flora and also significantly improved the grain yield in comparison with the weedy check. However, phytotoxicity to maize plants was observed in glyphosate treated plots. The maximum grain yield was obtained from diuron treated plots(800g), followed by glyphosate(800g), butaforce (698g), butachlor (410) and the minimum from control plots (260g). In general application post-emergence herbicides effectively control weeds in maize and reduce yield losses. Thus, the newly tested post-emergence herbicide Diuron alone could be an option to major weeds and increase maize grain yield.