ISSN: 0041-3216 (Online), 0041-3216 (Print)
Volume 70 Number 3
Potential benefits of herbicidal weed control for bread wheat production in the peasant farming systems of south-eastern Ethiopia
Peasant farmers in Ethiopia rely on labour-intensive cultural practices for weed control in wheat: limiting both cropped area and grain yields. Herbicides available for wheat production in the pea ant sector decreased over the past decade as their impact on smallholders' grain yields had ni been demonstrated. On-farm trials were therefore conducted during 1988 and 1989 to assess to effects of two post-emergence herbicides on weed-infested wheat fields in two regions of south eastern Ethiopia. BrittoxR and llioxanR reduced annual broadleaf and grass weed stands by 80 ar 81 %, respectively. Grain yield increased by 78% relative to the current farmers' practice of selective and partial hand weeding. Under high weed competition, herbicides were economically superior, to hand weeding even at triple the current official herbicide prices. Thus, increased usage of herbicides by peasant farmers has the potential to raise grain yields, decrease labour requirement and increase profitability.
Keywords: Weed control; Herbicides; Farming systems; Wheat