Control ‘gullidanda’ in wheat during sowing: PAU tells farmers

Experts have suggested non-chemical methods besides the use of pre-emergence herbicides

Experts of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), Ludhiana have cautioned the farmers against the emergence of ‘gullidanda (phalaris minor)’, the most troublesome weed in wheat. PAU Vice Chancellor Satbir Singh Gosal warned that ‘gullidanda’ if not controlled in time, will lead to reduced wheat grain yield.

Regarding ‘gullidanda’ management, PAU Department of Agronomy head M S Bhullar said, “In general, post-emergence herbicides applied after the first irrigation are used for its control. However, the weed has evolved resistance to post-emergence herbicides used for its control, especially in fields where the same chemical is applied year after year, which makes its control difficult in wheat fields. Under these situations, the use of pre-emergence herbicide is more beneficial as these herbicides prevent the germination of ‘gullidanda’.”

Bhullar recommended the application of any of the pre-emergence herbicides like Stomp/Bunker/Dost 30 EC (pendimethalin) @ 1.5 litres; Awkira/Momiji 85 WG (pyroxasulfone) @ 60 g; Platform 385 SE (pendimethalin plus metribuzin) @ 1 litre; or Dakshplus 48 EC (pendimethalin plus metribuzin) @ 900 millilters per acre, immediately after sowing but in all cases within two days of sowing.

“Use 200 litres of water per acre and flood jet/flat fan nozzle to spray pre-emergence herbicides. Prefer use of Lucky Seed drill which sows wheat and sprays herbicide simultaneously,” he advised. The herbicides provided the best weed control when sprayed uniformly in a well-prepared moist field, free from clods as herbicides needed moisture for activation, he said.

Bhullar suggested alternate use of non-chemical methods of the control of ‘gullidanda’. He cited an example of the surface seeding-cum-mulching technique of wheat sowing that provided effective control of ‘gullidanda’ and other weeds as the field was completely covered with paddy straw mulch, which prevented the germination and emergence of weeds. Similarly, wheat sown using Happy Seeder, in standing paddy stubbles, would have lower weeds, he informed.

“So, in the fields having a history of the problem of ‘gullidanda’, the solution lies in the use of any of the above-mentioned pre-emergence herbicide or the sowing of wheat by surface seeding-cum-mulching technique or by using Happy Seeder,” he advised.

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