The castor bean has indeterminate growth habit and non-uniformity of grain maturation at harvest. However, pre-harvest desiccant application can increase the efficiency of mechanized harvesting. The objective of this work was to evaluate effects of the herbicides glyphosate alone or mixed with 2,4-D, and paraquat alone, in pre-harvest desiccation of castor bean. The field experiments were arranged in a completely randomized design, with four replications, in Rancharia, São Paulo State, from March to September 2005. The experiment one evaluated the application of two doses of 2,4-D associated with four doses of glyphosate at 10, 20 and 30 days after application (DAA). The experiment two evaluated four doses of paraquat at 30 DAA. The pre-harvest desiccation of castor bean with 2,4-D + glyphosate showed effect only from 20 DAA. The 2,4-D applied alone provided significant dehydration of the plant, however, the effect was lower than the mixture 2,4-D + glyphosate. The best pre-harvest desiccation in castor bean was obtained with 1.34 kg 2,4-D ha-1 plus 1.42 kg glyphosate ha-1. The dose 1.2 kg paraquat ha-1 significantly reduced moisture in castor bean, however, it was less efficiently than the mixture 2,4-D + glyphosate.
Ricinus communis L; desiccant herbicides; glyphosate; 2,4-D; paraquat