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Agronomía Costarricense

Print version ISSN 0377-9424


HERRERA-MURILLO, Franklin  and  PICADO-ARROYO, Grettel. Evaluation of pre-emergent herbicides for weed control in sweet potato. Agron. Costarricense [online]. 2023, vol.47, n.1, pp.59-71. ISSN 0377-9424.

Introduction. Inadequate weed management can reduce sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.) yield and in Costa Rica there are few publications that document chemical control alternatives in this crop. Objective. To identify effective pre-emergent herbicides for weed control and selective for sweet potato variety ''Carrot''. Materials and methods. The experiment was conducted from September to December 2019, at the Experiment Station Fabio Baudrit Moreno of the University of Costa Rica, Alajuela. Cuttings with 4 to 5 nodes of the "Carrot" sweet potato variety were used, at a density of 22 222 plants per hectare. Treatments were metribuzin 0.6 kg ai per ha, pendimethalin 1.5 kg ai per ha, clomazone 0.48 kg ai per ha, metribuzin 0.6 kg ai per ha + pendimethalin 1.5 kg ai per ha, and metribuzin 0.6 kg ai per ha + clomazone 0.48 kg ai per ha, all applied 5 days after transplant and before emerging of weeds. A control was also used with weeding at 20 and 40 days after sowing, and another with free growth of weeds. A randomized complete block experimental design with 7 treatments and 4 replications was used. Results. Metribuzin + clomazone mixture was the most effective chemical treatment, since at 75 days after application it still presented the highest weed control (broadleaf 93%, poaceae 95%, Commelinaceae 100%) with only 4% weed coverage, and a commercial yield of 13.5 t per ha. Statistically the metribuzin + clomazone mixture presented a commercial yield equal to the control with weeding (14.1 t per ha). Metribuzin caused slight damage to sweet potato plants, but they recovered at 15 days after application. The presence of weeds during the crop cycle reduced the yield of marketable sweet potatoes by 89%. Conclusion. The best chemical alternative for weed management and production of marketable sweet potatoes was metribuzin + clomazone.

Keywords : Weeds; competition; herbicides; Ipomoea batatas; yield.

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