Are Invasive Weeds Reducing Sugarcane Yield and Making Harvest Difficult?

As with many crops, weed control in sugarcane is especially critical in the initial stages of growth. Weeds such as crotonhirtus (above) and papsalum (below, right) rob water and nutrients that should be going to the health of the sugarcane crop.

Fight Back With Pledge®, Flumyzin® and Sumimax® 300

paspalumSuccessful weed control is essential for profitable sugarcane production. Weeds rob yield from your plantation, by robbing your planted crop of water, nutrients, and light during the growing season. In sugarcane, weeds have been estimated to cause up to 72 percent reduction in cane yield depending upon the severity of infestation.

Cane fields can be particularly susceptible to weed invasion because sugarcane growth is very slow in the initial stages. It takes about 30 to 45 days to complete germination and another 60 to 75 days for developing full canopy cover. Weed control is most critical early in the season prior to sugarcane canopy closure over the row middles.

Heavy weed infestations can also interfere with sugarcane harvest by adding unnecessary harvesting expenses. A weed left alive to produce more seed will multiply weed issues in years to come.

Sumitomo Plantation Solutions offers several products to control weeds in sugarcane, including Pledge®, Flumyzin® and Sumimax®.

Each of these brands is a herbicide with powerful residual effects if applied to the soil and a fast burndown effect if applied to foliage. Each blocks protoporphyrinogen oxidase (PPO) in chloroplast. With effect from solar power the herbicide causes active oxygen to oxidise lipids in the cell membrane, thus destroying it. The final result is the destruction of chloroplast in the plant, which prevents photosynthesis and brings about its death.

Pledge®, Flumyzin® and Sumimax® are all effective on species missed by glyphosate and have a very good non-selective effect in several plantation crops. Rain matters little to the effect of these products, even shortly after application to foliage. Soil application creates a zone that prevents germination of weeds and a higher dosage results in a long-term effect.