Ex-FAO Technical Officer, Plant Protection Service, Rome, Italy
*Corresponding author:Ricardo Labrada, Ex-FAO Technical Officer, Plant Protection Service, Rome, Italy
Submission: June 23, 2021;Published: July 23, 2021
ISSN: 2637-7659 Volume9 Issue2
Plantain (Musa paradisíaca or Musa AAB) is a tropical fruit cultivated in Canton El Carmen, Ecuador in 41650ha. Local population of Ecuadorian Coast and Eastern part of the country consume its fruit cooked or also raw when it is ripe. One of the constraints to its production is weed incidence, which reduces crop yields and compels farmers to spend on weeding practices throughout the year. Knowledge of weed species with the highest frequency/abundance and the factors that determine their presence in the crop is a way to better design weed management strategy. A weed survey was carried out in in 135ha of plantains during the period of September 2014 and May 2015. Half of the fields checked during winter or rainy period (December-May), while the rest during summer or dry season (June to November). Selected fields were plantations of var. Barraganete mainly planted in rows spaced 3m and 1 or 1,5m between plants on of medium-textured soils, aerated, with good water retention and medium fertility. Fertilization of the plantations was with NPK formula 10-30-10 at unknown rates. Weed cover was visually assessed using a scale 0-5, where 1- up to 5% weed cover and 4-more than 50%. These values were processed to determine Absolute and Relative Frequencies, average weed cover and finally Severity Infestation (SI). Field evaluations resulted in grand total 44 weed species belonging to 22 families. Overall weed cover was an average of 2,5 during rainy period, where perennial Geophila macropoda (Ruiz & Pav.) DC. is the prevailing species. Total weed cover was 0,35 during dry period, where the prevailing species were grasses R. cochinchinensis and Panicum trichoides Sw., and several dicots. Weed flora changes according to herbicide use in both seasons, but G. macropoda is again the prevailing species in paraquat-treated fields during the rainy season and in glyphosate-treated and hand-weeded areas during dry season. The result suggests the convenience to evaluate G. macropoda as possible cover to smother weeds in plantains of El Carmen combined with other control measures.