Maize: Reduce Chemical Herbicide Input by 67% with no impact in Productivity

Background

Maize represents one of the most important crops in Spain.  Before full adoption, a colloidal nutrient trial was carried out in 2016 in the municipality of Mayora de Campos in Valladolid, Castile and Leon.  The objective of the trial was to ascertain colloidal nutrient’s impact on the cost and productivity of Maize cultivation, particularly on herbicide dosage management.  Maize cultivar was LC 30 369, and the herbicide chosen for the trial was with active compounds of Isoxaflutole 20% + Ciprosulfamide 20%. The herbicide application was at the pre-emergence stage at 0.2 litres per hectare rate.

Three sets of treatments were applied;

Treatment A consists of One-Third (33%) label dosage of herbicide plus OCC colloidal nutrient with a total cost of €24.13/ha.
Treatment B consists of One-Half (50%) label dosage of herbicide plus OCC colloidal nutrient with a total cost €30.25/ha.
Treatment C consists of Full label dosage (100%) of herbicide without any OCC colloidal nutrient. The total cost was €36.00/ha.

Results

Treatment A, most cost-effective at €24.13/ha with only one-third of herbicide and OCC colloidal nutrient achieved the highest dry yield of 14,748kg/ha.

Treatment B with one-half herbicide has the lowest productivity due to chemical stress from the enhanced impact of herbicide brought on by the OCC colloidal nutrient.

Treatment C with a full dosage of herbicide but no OCC colloidal nutrient achieved the second-highest dry yield of 14,508kg/ha.  However, it was also the most costly at €36.00/ha.

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