Effect of Integrating Chemical and Manual Weed Control Methods on Sweetpotato Yield and Profitability in Nigeria
One of the main factors responsible for the observed low productivity in sweetpotato is inadequate weed control. A study was therefore conducted to determine the effect of integrating different chemical and manual weed control methods on sweetpotato yield in the rain forest (Umudike) and humid savannah agro-ecologies (Otobi) in 2017 and 2018 cropping seasons. Treatments were arranged in a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) and replicated three times. There were five treatments which includes; Atrazine/metolachlor at 2.5kg ai/ha-1, Diuron at 3.0 kg ai/ha-1 + one hand manual weeding at 8 WAP (weeks after planting), Atrazine/metolachlor at 2.5kg ai/ha-1 + one hand manual weeding at 8 WAP, Manual weeding at 4 and 8 WAP and unweeded check. Application of Atrazine/metolachlor at 2.5 kg ai/ha-1 with manual weeding at 8 WAP enhanced season long weed suppression and also gave the highest root yield of 30.01 t/ha-1 and 31.08 t/ha-1 in Umudike and Otobi, respectively. Application of Atrazine/metolachlor at 2.5kg ai/ha-1 integrated with one manual hand weeding gave a net revenue and cost ratio of N2.05 and N2.10 to every one naira invested at Otobi and Umudike, respectively. The treatment; Atrazine/metolachlor at 2.5 kg ai/ha-1 with one manual hand weeding at 8 WAP is therefore, recommended.
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