Plantains should always be weed free, weed control starts during the field preparation and weeds are initially controlled about every 6 to 8 weeks but when the plantain canopy closes, at about 5 to 6 months after planting, weed infestation declined due to shading.
Ensure that any plant with a superficial root system should be considered a weed and therefore must be eliminated. Grasses or herbs are the most pernicious weeds because they derive their nutrients from the same level of the soil as the plantains while tree seedlings are not considered to be weeds.
Weed Control Methods for Plantain Plantations
Weeds can be controlled through mulching, chemically or manual clearing. Mulching is the most efficient means because a mulch layer can impede or prevent weed growth. Chemical control is expensive and in some circumstances also dangerous to the plants.
Manual weeding is not recommended because although the weeds are thereby effectively controlled because of slashing or hoe weeding but it will inevitably damage the plantain root system therefore adequate care must be taken during manual weed control if it appears to be the only option you have to control weeds in your plantain farm.
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A weed is a plant, in the wrong place, at the wrong time. These plants compete with crops for nutrients, water, and sunlight. When uncontrolled, weeds can take over a field, ruining a farmer’s chances of a productive harvest.
While chemical herbicides are often a familiar and effective solution for controlling weeds, the overdependence on a single solution can create resistance, leaving weeds unchecked. Increasing weed resistance threatens farmers’ harvests and livelihoods, while also increasing agriculture’s burden on the environment.
Weed control is vital to agriculture, because weeds decrease yields, increase production costs, interfere with harvest, and lower product quality. Weeds also impede irrigation water-flow, interfere with pesticide application, and harbour disease organisms.
Herbicides are formulated as wettable powders, granular materials, emulsions, and solutions. Any of them may be applied as a spot treatment, broadcast, placed in bands, or put directly on a specific plant part. When formulated as solutions or emulsions, the chemical is mixed with water or oil.
Spraying is the most common method, permitting extremely small amounts to be applied uniformly because of dilution. Sprays can be accurately directed underneath growing plants, and calibration and rate control are easier with spray machines than with granular applicators.
Granular formulations have advantages under some conditions, however. The use of herbicides must be integrated into the overall farm program because the optimum date and application rate depend on the crop stage, the weed stage, weather conditions, and other factors.
Careful use of herbicides in farm production lowers cost, resulting in a more economical product for the consumer. Herbicides cut the costs of raising cotton, for example, by reducing labour requirements for weed control up to 60 percent.
Herbicides replace hand labour in growing crops, labour that is no longer available in developed nations at costs the farmer can afford. Machines for chemical application are widely available.
When used as directed, herbicides are generally safe, not only for the operator but also for wildlife and livestock. The greatest difficulty lies in accidental injury to crop plants resulting from drift and from residues in the soil, particularly if residues enter water courses.
The future of chemical pesticides and herbicides is under debate by those who manufacture, sell, and use them and by those who are concerned about environmental quality.
The value of an assured food and fibre supply at reasonable cost is undeniable, and chemicals contribute much toward this. These substances also cause undesirable effects upon the environment, however, and indeed can be toxic to a wide range of organisms.
This fact will demand an increasing amount of care in using chemicals, perhaps enforced by law, along with increasing use of nonchemical control techniques.
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