Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) is the most important leguminous crop raised as pulse as well as a vegetable crop in India. The slow initial growth and wider spacing necessitate weed control in the early stages of crop growth. The critical period of crop weed competition in cowpea was 20 to 30 DAS. Season-long crop weed competition resulted in a yield reduction of 40 to 90 per cent in cowpea depending on the intensity of weed infestation, weed flora, season, location, and the climatic condition prevailed. Mulching, manual weeding and stale seedbed are the different cultural methods which can be adopted for weed control in cowpea. Chemical method of weed control is the cheapest and economically viable option for weed control in cowpea. Both Pre-emergence herbicides viz., pendimethalin, diclosulam and imazethapyr and post-emergence herbicides viz., imazethapyr, quizalofop-p-ethyl can be used for weed control in cowpea. Studies revealed that pre-emergence application of herbicide (imazethapyr/pendimethalin or diclosulam) followed by manual weeding or post-emergence application of herbicides (quizalofop-p-ethyl or imazethapyr) or mulching followed by post-emergence application of herbicides (quizalofop-p-ethyl or imazethapyr) were found to be more effective for the broad-spectrum weed control in cowpea. The integrated approach of weed control has resulted in a higher yield, net returns and B: C ratio in cowpea.
Herbicidal method, Manual weeding, Mulching, Nodulation, Stale seedbed
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