Print version ISSN 0100-8358
ARAUJO, FC. et al. Optimizing the width of strip weeding in arabica coffee in relation to crop age. Planta daninha [online]. 2012, vol.30, n.1, pp. 129-138. ISSN 0100-8358. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0100-83582012000100015.
The aim of this study was to determine the weed strip control (WSC) required for adequate coffee growth after transplanting. A non-irrigated, field-planted (spaced 3.80 x 0.70 m) crop was used. The experimental design was a randomized block, with four replicates. The treatments were arranged in a 9 x 18 split-plot design to test the WSC of 0, 15, 30, 45, 60, 90, 120, 150, and 190 cm, which involved continuously hand-weeding at each side of the coffee row, and 18 coffee growth measurements. Multiple regression analyses were carried out relating to growth-variables as a function of both WSC and growth-evaluation times. Brachiaria decumbens was the main weed accomplishing 88.5% of the total weed dry mass. The minimum width of the WSC increases as the crop ages after transplanting. Assuming reductions of 2% and 5% in the maximum coffee growth, the recommended WSC was 75 and 52 cm at 4 months after transplanting (MAT), 104 and 85 cm at 6 MAT, 123 and 105 cm at 9 MAT, 134 and 116 cm at 12 MAT, 142 and 124 cm at 15 MAT, and 148 and 131 cm at 18 MAT, respectively. It was concluded that integrated weed management in young coffee crops must focus on the weed control only in a minimum range along coffee rows, which increases with coffee plant age, keeping natural vegetation in the inter-rows.
Keywords : Coffea arabica; competition; interference; Surinam grass; weed management; weedy periods.