Growth stage of Phalaris minor Retz. and wheat determines weed control and crop tolerance of four post-emergence herbicides
Phalaris minor Retz. has evolved multiple herbicide resistance in wheat growing areas in northwestern India. An understanding of the effect of growth stage on herbicide tolerance of wheat and control of P. minor will help in selecting the most appropriate herbicide for different situations. The weed control and crop safety of four commonly used wheat herbicides (sulfosulfuron, pinoxaden, fenoxaprop plus metribuzin and mesosulfuron plus iodosulfuron), each applied at four different wheat growth stages was investigated in field studies for two years. P. minor plants were at 1, 2-3, 3-4 and 7-8 leaf stages when the herbicides were applied at Zadok 12-Z12, Z13, Z21 and Z23 stages of wheat, respectively. Sulfosulfuron application at Z12 and Z13 wheat stages (before first irrigation), provided >80% control of P. minor and produced wheat grain yield (4.5-4.7 t/ha) similar to the weed-free check (4.9 t/ha) in both years. Pinoxaden, fenoxaprop plus metribuzin and mesosulfuron plus iodosulfuron application at Z12 and Z13 wheat stages recorded significantly lower wheat grain yield (3.62-3.95 t/ha) due to poor weed control, crop toxicity or both. All the four herbicides were equally effective on P. minor when applied at Z21 wheat stage. At Z23 wheat stage, pinoxaden gave >90% control of P. minor and the highest wheat grain yield (4.82 t/ha). The results are expected to allow changes in the current recommendation of the timing of post-emergence herbicides for the management of P. minor in wheat.
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