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Open AccessArticle

Combination of Herbicide Band Application and Inter-Row Cultivation Provides Sustainable Weed Control in Maize

1
Institute for Sustainable Plant Protection (IPSP-CNR), National Research Council of Italy, Viale dell’Università 16, 35020 Legnaro, Italy
2
CAB Massari, Via Puntiroli 5, 48017 Conselice, Italy
3
Crop Production Research Centre (CRPV), Via dell’Arrigoni 120, 47522 Cesena, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agronomy 2020, 10(1), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10010020
Received: 21 November 2019 / Revised: 17 December 2019 / Accepted: 19 December 2019 / Published: 21 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Weed Management & New Approaches)
Herbicides have facilitated weed management but their incorrect use can lead to environmental contamination. Reducing herbicide use by limiting their application to a band along the crop row can decrease their environmental impact. Three field experiments were conducted in North-eastern Italy to evaluate herbicide band application systems integrated with inter-row hoeing for silage maize. Post-emergence herbicide band application (sprayed area 50% of total field; herbicide dose 50% of that recommended, application with an inter-row cultivator prototype) was compared with pre-emergence band application (sprayed area 33% of total field; herbicide dose 33% of that recommended, application with a seeder) and pre-emergence broadcast application (sprayed area 100% of total field; full recommended herbicide dose, application with a boom sprayer) that is standard management for maize. Weed density and composition were evaluated before and after post-emergence herbicide application and at crop harvest. Crop yield was also recorded. Weed density in untreated areas ranged between 5 and 15 plants m−2 in the different experiments. Optimal weed control and good yields were achieved without significant differences between all treatments. Herbicide band application can provide optimal weed control in silage maize, at the same time allowing a relevant reduction of herbicide input. View Full-Text
Keywords: herbicide band application; low herbicide use; integrated weed management; precision agriculture; sustainable agriculture; maize herbicide band application; low herbicide use; integrated weed management; precision agriculture; sustainable agriculture; maize
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Loddo, D.; Scarabel, L.; Sattin, M.; Pederzoli, A.; Morsiani, C.; Canestrale, R.; Tommasini, M.G. Combination of Herbicide Band Application and Inter-Row Cultivation Provides Sustainable Weed Control in Maize. Agronomy 2020, 10, 20.

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