Intercultivation weed management and intercropping

The main objectives of inter-cultivation are (a) control of weeds, (b) soil aeration and (c) soil moisture conservation. It is carried our mainly by hoeing. To prevent cracking and to conserve soil moisture repeated inter-cultivation is performed. By repeated inter-cultivation, the weed inrensity in succeeding crops will be of the lower order. Though the cultural methods of weed management are widely used by the farmers, they are becoming laborious, time consuming and expensive due to labour shortage. Under this situation, the option left is the use of herbicides or a combination of both herbicides and cultural merhods. Among the herbicides, trifluralin, alachlor, etc. are extensively used for controlling weeds in chilli. As a pre-emergent weedicide, 2 L of Basalin (Fluchloralin 1 L a.i./ha mixed in 500L of warer) is sprayed on the soil surface just before transplanting. This is followed by irrigation. As a phytosanitary measure of disease control, weeding is essential.

Under rainfed cultivation in Tamil Nadu, onion, brinjal and coriander are grown as intercrops. Castor and agathi grown on bunds serve as barrier crops in pest management while the inter-crops give additional income to farmers.

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