Using selective pre-emergence and post-emergence herbicides for cassava is one of the best ways for achieving effective cassava weed management on your farm.
When you control the weeds on the farm effectively, it will lead to more crop yields.
Of course, we know that more crop yields equate to more money or more food for you.
So, the trick is to control weeds until your crops form a canopy that covers the land.
When your crops form a canopy that prevents sunlight from reaching weeds, they won’t grow fast enough to be a problem.
Why do you need to control weeds on cassava farms?
Statistics show that weeds in your cassava farm can cause over 50% yield loss!!
Now, that is a whopping amount of loss that you can avoid by simply controlling weeds in your cassava farm.
The essence of weed control is not to totally eliminate weeds.
You know you can’t achieve that on a very large cassava farm.
But the goal is to frustrate the growth of weeds on the cassava farm to the point where they’ll not cause yield loss.
Weed control is not only important for cassava farming, but it is also very important in every aspect of crop farming.
Besides using herbicides to control weeds, it is important to also learn the best process of cassava farming to increase cassava yield.
How to control weed in a cassava plantation
Manual weeding is good for cassava crops, but it is time-consuming and painfully laborious.
It is not practical to weed hectares of cassava farmland by hand.
That is why successful farmers use chemical weed control methods for their cassava farms.
It is far cheaper than manual or mechanical weed control.
What are the chemicals for controlling weeds in a cassava plantation?
I know by now you are hungry to know which safe herbicide to use on your cassava farm.
Here is a list of some of the herbicides you can use to control weeds on your cassava farm.
- Fluometuron and Alachlor
- Diuron and Metolalchlor
- Atrazine and Metolachlor
I will explain each of these chemicals later in this article and give mixing recommendations.
Please note that the herbicides in this list are mostly preemergent herbicides.
This means that they are effective in killing germinating weeds before they emerge from the soil.
So, if you are going to use these herbicides on your cassava farm, apply the chemical before weeds start growing.
What quantity of herbicides should I apply to my cassava farm?
At this point, you should know that paying attention to details is very important.
You need to follow the dosage recommendations for each herbicide, but more importantly, follow the manufacturers’ recommendations.
If you can’t do it by yourself, please consult an expert near you.
When you make a mistake and use the wrong herbicide in your cassava farm, it will result in a fatal loss.
In the same vein, if you apply too much of the correct herbicide, that too will lead you to serious trouble.
Safety measures to observe when spraying herbicides on your cassava farm.
When applying anything in the garden, organic or heavily industrialized, always keep safety at the forefront of your actions.
Here are some tips to help you spray herbicides on a cassava farm without hurting the plants or yourself.
- Wear safety glasses, latex gloves, long sleeves, and long trousers. Your goal is to avoid contact with any chemical on any portion of your skin.
- Be very mindful when mixing chemicals. This is when most spills and accidental contacts occur.
- Most of the time you’re okay to use lots of water to rinse a chemical off of your skin or out of your eyes. However, it’s best for you to READ THE LABEL to prevent causing yourself more harm than good.
- Having a first aid kit nearby can come in handy for almost any situation.
- When adding water to chemicals, follow the directions on the label and avoid using water directly from a hose. This is an important safety measure to prevent siphoning the chemicals back into the water supply.
- Fill up a watering can that you can then dump into a spray tank instead of connecting the hose directly to a water source.
- Spraying a non-selective herbicide with keen attention so that wind does not blow the spray to areas you don’t want. This could result in a disaster on your cassava farm.
- “Drift” is the term that explains what happens when your application hits areas you don’t expect them to hit. This is usually the result of carelessness, environmental factors (such as wind, water, etc.), and mechanical obstructions.
What to do after applying herbicides to your cassava farm
After applying the herbicides to your cassava farm, activate the herbicide by integrating it into the soil.
You can achieve this by cultivating the land (using a field cultivator or rototiller) to a depth of 2-3 inches.
Watering is also a good way of incorporating herbicides into the soil, whether by rainfall or by irrigation.
Make sure to check the product label for the best method of incorporating the chemical into the soil.
The need for incorporation is to concentrate the herbicide in the soil zone where weeds germinate.
Doing this will kill the weeds before they find their way out of the soil.
5 best herbicides for cassava weed management
This is a selective, preemergence herbicide that kills grasses and broadleaf weeds.
As a preemergence herbicide, the best time to apply it is before planting.
After application, incorporate the herbicide into the soil by tilling or irrigation.
Fluometuron application in a cassava farm can control weeds for up to 2-5 months.
You can apply diuron in your cassava plantation at 2kg a.i. /ha after your cassava has started growing.
Applying diuron to your cassava farm helps to control weeds before and after they start growing.
After applying the herbicide, irrigate your farm within 2 weeks to activate it.
3. Fluometuron and Alachlor:
If you want to achieve better efficiency with your herbicide application, mix fluometuron and alachlor in the same tank.
The mixing rate should be 2-3kg a.i. /ha for fluometuron and 3kg a.i. /ha for alachlor.
Fluometuron and alachlor will perform better in your cassava farm when you mix them together at this rate.
Alachlor controls annual grasses and broadleaf weeds.
4. Diuron and Metolachlor:
Efficiency is greatly increased if you mix Diuron and metolachlor in the same tank at the rate of 2kg a.i. /ha for Diuron and 2kg a.i. /ha for metolachlor.
Metolachlor is a preplant and preemergence herbicide for annual grass and some broadleaf weeds.
This means that you have to apply it before planting your cassava stems (preplant) and before weeds emerge (preemergence).
After the application, incorporate the herbicide into the soil by tilling or by watering.
You can also use Diuron and Metolachlor to control weeds in soybean, corn, and peanut farms.
5. Atrazine and Metolachlor:
This can also give excellent yield when you apply it at 2.5kg a.i. /ha.
You can apply them before or after planting the cassava.
Irrigate after application to activate it. Make sure the soil does not get to the point of waterlogging because it will render the herbicide ineffective.
The herbicide will leach beyond the weed seeds level.
Atrazine is best in the control of broadleaf weeds before and after they start growing.
It is popular in maize and sugarcane farms, but can also be used in cassava farms.
These herbicides will help delay weed growth for a long time.
But weeds will eventually grow and when they do, you will either hand-weed or use a herbicide called paraquat to control them.
Paraquat is quite safe because it kills only the leaves it comes in contact with.
It will not kill the entire plant like glyphosphate. But you should shield your cassava from it.
How to mix herbicides before application in your farm
When combining 2 herbicides, don’t do so directly without dilution.
- Add the first herbicide to your sprayer tank and half-fill the tank with water.
- Add the second herbicide and fill the tank with water. This will prevent any chemical reaction from taking place.
- If you’ve not tried this before, do so in a small farm area and observe it for 1 year or 6 months.
- Do this before you use these herbicides on a large scale.
- This precaution will help you avoid a massive loss in case of any miscalculation.
- Also, if you intend to plant another crop next season, check to make sure that the herbicide residue will not harm the crop.
- These herbicides may be compatible with cassava, but their residue can seriously harm other crops.
If you have been having difficulty selecting the best herbicides for cassava weed management on your farm I believe this article has helped you.
Controlling weeds on your cassava farm is one of the best ways to improve your cassava yields and reduce losses.
Always remember to protect yourself while applying the herbicides and be careful not to damage the crops in the process.
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