Cover crops, Anananas comosus, herbicide, weed suppression, integrated weed management
Objective: to evaluate the effect of two proactive strategies for weed management in pineapple, including (1) cover crop rotation and reduced rate of herbicide (RRH) and (2) cover crop association and RRH.
Design/Methodology/Approach: We conducted pineapple field experiments in Huimanguillo, Tabasco Mexico, using a complete randomized block design for both rotation and association experiments. Weed occurrence were registered and classified. The weed management effect of cover crops such as cowpea (Vigna unguiculata), sunnhemp (Crotalaria juncea), stylo (Stylozanthes guanensis) and velvet bean (Mucuna pruriens) were evaluated alone and combined with three herbicides. Data of soil ground cover and weed suppression levels were analyzed by one-way ANOVA and the means were separated by Least Significant Differences (LSD) at P = 0.05.
Results: Synergistic interaction was detected for weed suppression in all cover crops and herbicide treatments. Combined effects of metribuzin and pendimethalin herbicides with cover crops varied from 80%- 90 % of weed suppression until 90 days after treatment (DAT); however, when cover crops were combined with haloxifop plus diuron, 100 % of weed control was achieved until 90 DAT.
Study limitations/implications. Irrigation, weather conditions may affect observations.
Findings/Conclusions: Our results showed that all cover crops, specially Vigna unguiculata and Mucuna pruriens in a rotation system, along with reduced rate of herbicides is novel approach strategy for weed management in pineapple plantation. Cover crops such as cowpea might improve crop performance, productivity and feasibility for farmers. The reduced rates of preemergence herbicides and cover crops will be very helpful for the farmers and for protection of environment.
Keywords: Cover crops, Anananas comosus, herbicide, weed suppression, integrated weed management