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Plantwise Factsheets for Farmers

Herbicides against weeds in maize

Broad leaf weeds / dicotyledones
Zambia

Recognize the problem

Weeds compete with maize for light, space, water and nutrients, particularly when the maize is young. Maize plants remain small and weak. If weeds are not controlled on time, maize yield can be low.

Background

A weed is a plant that grows at a place where it has negative effects on a crop. Most weeds can be controlled mechanically by pulling out, harrowing, or tillage. Some serious weeds are chemically controlled. Be careful, some chemicals can only be sprayed before maize germinates, few can also be sprayed later.

Management

Glyphosate is a non-selective herbicide. This means it kills any plant, also maize. Trade names are Cycat, Round up, Muscle up, Springbok, Scat, Erase, and others. It slightly toxic to you (WHO toxicity class III).
  • Spray before sowing or after sowing but before maize germinates ! Otherwise you kill the maize. Use an orange fan-jet nozzle or another fine flat spray nozzle to reach all leaves of weeds.
  • Mix 700 ml or 500gm in a 16-litre sprayer. This translates to 4 litres product / hectare. But double-check labels as the products differ.
  • When spraying, the soil may be dry or moist but leaves should be young and fresh but not wet. Spray at dry weather or at least 4 hours before rain. Do not enter the field after spray for ½ day.

Topramezone - Dicamba mixes are selective herbicides and sprayed when weeds and maize have emerged. It is most effective when weeds are at 3 to 4 leaf stage. It controls some annual grasses; but mainly broad leaf weeds. It can suppress Kapinga. Product names are Stellar Star, and others. It takes some days to kill the weeds.  It is of WHO toxicity class II, thus moderately toxic to you.

  • Use a blue fan-jet nozzle which has a bigger hole.  It requires a higher water dilution rate as compared to glyphosate.
  • Mix 80ml in a 16-litre sprayer. The usual rate is 1 litre product / hectare. But double-check label for details as the products differ.
  • When spraying, weeds should be fresh but not wet. Hold the nozzle 1/2m high from the ground along planting lines walking 50 meters in 45 seconds.
  • After spraying, do not enter the field for at least ½ a day.
  • high from the ground along planting lines walking 50 meters in 45 seconds. After spraying, do not enter the field for at least ½ a day.dry or wet. When spraying hold the nozzle 1/2m high from the ground along planting lines walking 50 meters in 45 seconds. Do not enter after spray for ½ a day at least.

 

When using a pesticide, always wear protective clothing and follow the instructions on the product label, such as dosage, timing of application, and pre-harvest interval.

The recommendations in this factsheet are relevant to: Zambia

Authors: Conwell Chilala
Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock
tel: +260 977 598 505 email: chilalaconwell@yahoo.com
©CAB International. Published under a CC-BY-SA 4.0 licence.

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