INFLUENCE OF DIFFERENT RATES OF METOLACHLOR AND WEEDING REGIME ON CROP VIGOUR AND YIELD COMPONENTS OF SWEET POTATO (Ipomoea batatas L.) AT AFAKA, KADUNA, NIGERIA.
Keywords:sweet potato, Metolachlor, weeding regieme, influence, rates
The field experiment was conducted at the Research farm of the of Forestry Mechanization, Afaka, Kaduna, to determine the influence of different rates of metolachlor and weeding regime on crop vigour and yield components of sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas). The experiment was carried out during 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 raining seasons. The trial consisted of four weeding regimes at 3, 6, 9 and 12 weeks after planting (WAP), two rates of metolachlor (3.0 kg a.i./ha-1 and 2.0 kg a.i/ha-1), hoe weeded control at 4 and 8 weeks after planting (WAP), weed free treated plots and weedy check plots. Making a total of eleven treatments, laid out in a randomized complete block design (RCBD) replicated three times. The gross and net plot sizes were 6.75 m2 (3 m x 2.25 m) and 2.25 m2 (3 m x 0.75 m) respectively. The result showed that in 2019/2020 the weed free treated plots and the plots with the application of metolachlor at 3.0 kg a.i/ha-1 plus weeding regime at 3 WAP resulted in comparable higher crop vigour, higher number of tubers per plot, and higher tuber weight per plot than all the other treatments. While the weedy check plots recorded the least vigorous crops and the least significant tuber weight per plot than all the other treatments. At 2020/2021 the plots with the application of metolachlor at 2.0 kg a.i./ha-1 plus weeding regime at 12 WAP and the weed free treated plots recorded the highest vigorous crops. The highest number of tubers per plot and the highest weight of tubers per plot at harvest was recorded by the weed free treated plots (9.10a) followed by the plots with the application of metolachlor at 3.0 kg a.i./ha-1 plus weeding regime at 3 WAP (7.60b). The study therefore recommended the use of the weed free treated plots and the plots with the application of metolachlor at 3.0 kg a.i./ha-1 plus weeding regime at 3 WAP in the study area for better yield of sweet potato
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