Allelopathic Effects of Different Plant Water Extracts on Yield and Weeds of Wheat

ABSTRACT: Use of synthetic herbicides to control weeds poses serious threats to sustainable agricultural production around the globe. The phytotoxic effect of different plant water extracts (i.e., sorghum, sunflower and mulberry) against weeds has been previously studied; however, their combined effects at different rates are yet to be explored. In this study, mixtures of allelopathic water extracts of sorghum + sunflower and sorghum + sunflower + mulberry were sprayed each at 12, 15, 18 and 21 L ha-1 at 40 and 55 days after sowing in wheat to control wild oats (Avena fatua), little seed canary grass (Phalaris minor), lamb’s quarters (Chenopodium album) and swine cress (Coronopus didymus). A synthetic herbicide Affinity 50 WP (Carfentrazone-ethyl 0.75% + Isoproturon 50% applied at 1000 g a.i., ha-1) and a weedy check were kept as a control treatment. The increasing order of water extract dose 12-21 L ha-1 showed substantial reduction in total weed density and their dry biomass production of both narrow and broad-leaved weeds in all the treatment combinations. Mixture of sorghum + sunflower + mulberry water extracts each at 18 L ha-1 applied at 40+55 DAS resulted in an 87.14% decrease in total weed dry matter with a 19.5% increase in grain yield of wheat and higher net benefits of Rs. 100525 with 777.5% marginal rate of return. Nonetheless, application of sorghum + sunflower water extracts each at 12 L ha-1 at 40+55 DAS was more economical than the other treatments in terms of higher marginal rate of return of 799.82%. Based on this study, it can be suggested that the use of allelopathic plant water extracts in a mixture may act as a potential weed control strategy in wheat.