Rotary Hoe Cultivation in Sweet Corn

in HortTechnology

A 2-year study was conducted to assess sweet corn (Zea mays) susceptibility to mechanical weeding using a rotary hoe at preemergence to six-leaf stages of corn development and at different combinations of stages. Three sweet corn cultivars: early (`Quickie'), mid (`July Gem'), and late season (`Sensor') were seeded at two sowing dates. The experiment was conducted in a weed-free environment. In general, sweet corn could be cultivated with the rotary hoe at least once without yield reduction from preemergence to the six-leaf stage. Cob numbers were reduced and maturity delayed after three or four cultivations with the rotary hoe. The rotary hoe could be an effective tool in controlling weeds in an integrated weed management approach or for organic sweet corn production since it cultivates both within and between the rows. The rotary hoe, which covers a large area in a short time, can be used at later growth stages, extending the time period during which it can be used without damaging the crop and reducing yield.

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Contributor Notes

Corresponding author. E-mail: maryse.leblanc@irda.qc.ca

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