Weed interference in cassava (Manihot esculenta) yield

Inadequate handling of weeds is one of the main causes of cassava low yield in Brazil. The objective of this work was to identify the weed species interfering in cassava crop and the degree of this interference, in function of then coexistence period. Two experiments were carried out in adjacent areas in Viçosa-MG, Brazil, using the "cacauzinha" cultivar of the cassava group. A randomized block design was adopted, with seven treatments and four replications. The treatments in the first experiment were composed by the initial crop periods and weed coexistence 25, 50, 75, 100 and 125 days after planting (DAP). In the second experiment, the cassava plants initially remained weed-free for the same periods. For both experiments, 1.0 x 0.5 m spacing was adopted, being the useful portion area constituted by the two central lines, with 1.0 m being left in each extremity as front borders, totaling 8.0 m².. The weeds were analyzed at 25, 50, 75, 100, 125, 150, 175, 200, 225, 250, 275, 300, 325 and 350 DAP. The characteristics root yield, aerial part weight, crop index, starch content and root dry matter were evaluated at twelve months after planting. The prevailing weed species in the experimental area were: Bidens pilosa, Raphanus raphanistrum, Cyperus rotundus and Commelina benghalensis, with Bidens pilosa prevailing in almost all collection times. The coexistence periods with the weeds did not interfere in the crop indexes, starch content and root dry matter. However, taking into account root yield, the end of the period before interference was close to 25 days and the interference prevention critical period was between 25 and 75 DAP. Crops sown after 75 DAP did not affect the analyzed cassava crop characteristics.

hoeing; competition; coexistence period

Sociedade Brasileira da Ciência das Plantas Daninhas Departamento de Fitotecnia - DFT, Universidade Federal de Viçosa - UFV, 36570-000 - Viçosa-MG - Brasil, Tel./Fax::(+55 31) 3899-2611 - Viçosa - MG - Brazil
E-mail: rpdaninha@gmail.com