Estimation of Critical Period for Weed Control in Corn in Iran
The critical period for weed control (CPWC) is the period in the crop growth cycle during which weeds must be controlled to prevent unacceptable yield losses. Field studies were conducted in 2005 and 2006 in the University of Birjand at the south east of Iran to determine CPWC of corn using a randomized complete block design with 14 treatments and four replications. The treatments consisted of two different periods of weed interference, a critical weed-free period and a critical time of weed removal, were imposed at V3, V6, V9, V12, V15, and R1 (based on phonological stages of corn development) with a weedy check and a weed-free check. The CPWC was determined with the use of 2.5, 5, 10, 15 and 20% acceptable yield loss levels by non-linear Regression method and fitting Logistic and Gompertz nonlinear equations to relative yield data. The CPWC of corn was from 5- to 15-leaf stage (19-55 DAE) to prevent yield losses of 5%. This period to prevent yield losses of 2.5, 10 and 20% was 4- to 17-leaf stage (14-59 DAE), 6- to 12-leaf stage (25-47 DAE) and 8- to 9-leaf stage (31-36 DAE) respectively. The height and leaf area index of corn were significantly decreased by weed competition in both weed free and weed infested treatments (P<0.01). Results also showed that there was a significant positive correlation between yield and LAI of corn at silk stage when competing with weeds (r= 0.97).
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