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Experts of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) have cautioned the farmers against the emergence of gullidanda (Phalaris minor) which has been the most troublesome weed in wheat. Dr Satbir Singh Gosal, Vice-Chancellor, PAU, warned that gullidanda if not controlled in-time, will lead to reduced wheat grain yield.

About gullidanda management, Dr MS Bhullar, Head, Department of Agronomy, observed, “In general, post-emergence herbicides applied after the first irrigation are used for its control. However, the weed has evolved resistance to post-emergence herbicide/s used for its control, especially, in fields where same herbicide is applied year after year, which makes its control difficult in wheat fields. Under these situations, the use of pre-emergence herbicide is more beneficial as these herbicides prevent the germination of gullidanda.” Further, Dr Bhullar recommended the application of any of the pre-emergence herbicides like Stomp/Bunker/Dost 30 EC (pendimethalin) @ 1.5 litre; Awkira/ Momiji 85 WG (pyroxasulfone) @ 60 g; Platform 385 SE (pendimethalin + metribuzin) @ 1.0 litre; or Dakshplus 48 EC (pendimethalin + metribuzin) @ 900 ml/acre, immediately after sowing but in all cases within two days of sowing. “Use 200 litres of water/acre and flood jet/flat fan nozzle for spray of pre-emergence herbicides. Prefer use of Lucky Seed Drill which sows wheat and sprays herbicide simultaneously,” he advised. The herbicides provided best weed control when sprayed uniformly in a well-prepared moist field, free from clods, as herbicides needed moisture for activation, he said.

Elaborating, he suggested alternate use of non-chemical methods of the control of gullidanda. Dr Bhullar cited example of Surface Seeding-cum-Mulching technique of wheat sowing that provided effective control of gullidanda and other weeds, as the field was completely covered with paddy straw mulch which prevented germination and emergence of weeds. Similarly, wheat sown using Happy Seeder, in standing paddy stubbles, would have lower weeds, he informed. “So in fields having history of problem of gullidanda, the solution lies in the use of any of the above mentioned pre-emergence herbicide or the sowing of wheat by Surface Seeding-cum-Mulching technique or by using Happy Seeder,” he advised.

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